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Audio Proves Michael Jordan Did Keep Isiah Thomas Off Dream Team

“Rod Thorn called me. I said, ‘Rod, I won’t play if Isiah Thomas is on the team.’ He assured me. He said, ‘You know what? Chuck [Charles Barkley] doesn’t want Isiah. So, Isiah is not going to be part of the team.'”

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Following the smashing success of ESPN’s The Last Dance, iHeartRadio and Diversion are diving deeper into one specific aspect of the Michael Jordan story. The two companies have partnered to present The Dream Team Tapes, a podcast dedicated to the 1992 United States Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.

In The Last Dance, Jordan swore that while he didn’t want to play with Isiah Thomas, he did not specifically demand the Detroit Pistons guard be kept off the team. That isn’t true according to Jordan himself.

Jack McCallum, the renowned sportswriter who’s audio recordings from the time make up the majority of The Dream Team Tapes podcast, provided a recording in which Jordan says “Rod Thorn called me. I said, ‘Rod, I won’t play if Isiah Thomas is on the team.’ He assured me. He said, ‘You know what? Chuck [Charles Barkley] doesn’t want Isiah. So, Isiah is not going to be part of the team.'”

Thorn was a member of the US Olympic selection committee in 1992.

Technically, the audio does prove part of what Michael Jordan said in his interview in episode 5 of The Last Dance. He was far from the only member of the team with a beef against Thomas.

Several critics called ESPN out for giving Michael Jordan editorial control of the series and letting many of his claims go unchallenged. This audio does bring the debate about the journalistic value of ESPN’s documentary back into the spotlight.

For his part, Thomas addressed the rumors and the controversy on ESPN’s Get Up! last month. He said that he will always be disappointed by not being asked to be a part of the 1992 Olympic team, but if it’s true that a personal beef over not shaking hands after a playoff game is what caused that, “then I am more disappointed today than I was back then when I wasn’t selected.”

Sports Online

Barstool Sports CEO: Golf Likely Next Step For Company’s Live Broadcasts

“I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love.”

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Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini recently did a wide-ranging interview with AdAge.com about the future of the digital sports outlet’s television aspirations, and she said sports they’re familiar with will take priority.

“”We want sports that appeal to a broad audience. We’re kind of tickled to be able to broadcast things in the first place. So I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love, whether it’s basketball and football,” Nardini said. “You could definitely see that extended to golf, that would probably be the next place that we’ll play.”

The questions about Barstool’s future aspirations come after the company’s successful first broadcast of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. Barstool says the broadcast received nearly 1 million views, peaking at 130,000 concurrent viewers. The outlet also broadcasted the Barstool Sports Invitational that featured Akron, Mississippi State, Toledo, and UAB in November.

Nardini added that the company is interested live televised sports for a few reasons.

“We’re owned by a sports betting company and the more we think about building our sports platform, there’s obviously a huge opportunity for us to convey a whole bunch of offerings to our audience, but certainly betting will be one of them…I think that live sports on television is the last man standing where it’s all anyone tunes in for.”

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Fanatics to Open First Sportsbook Inside FedEx Field

“The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports licensing giant Fanatics will soon be launching its long-anticipated sportsbook.

The company will open up a physical sportsbook location in Maryland at FedEx Field on January 20. Fanatics has also been granted a license to operate in Massachusetts, tethered to Plainridge Park Casino.

The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium. Bettors in the DMV will now be able to place wagers at all their local teams’ venues, as William Hill has an on-site location at Capital One Arena – home of the Capitals and Wizards – and BetMGM has a space at Nationals Park in D.C.

Despite having a physical location at FedEx Field, bettors in Maryland will not be able to place mobile wagers through a Fanatics Sportsbook app.

According to Front Office Sports, Fanatics hopes to have the sportsbook up and running in some fashion in all states where legal by September.

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Sports Online

Pat McAfee Teases Major New Partnership

“We didn’t sleep much the last couple days so we haven’t really gotten to grasp this entire thing.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Up to something season has returned for Pat McAfee.

McAfee has routinely used that phrasing to tease viewers and listeners about major dealings in the works, and on Wednesday he said something big is coming down the pike.

“We’re up to something,” McAfee said. “We got a big partnership coming up. It’s big. We haven’t even chatted about this at all. That’s how much we’ve evolved.”

Pat continued about how the show has matured, saying he was proud they waited until this late in the game to even bring up the fact they’ve got a new deal to announce.

“If this conversation had taken place three years ago, the announcement we’re about to make, it would’ve been two weeks worth of the show,” he said. “Every single segment would’ve been brought back to oh something’s coming, something’s coming, something’s coming.”

“That is changing quickly in a big way,” he added.

McAfee noted that being on the road in Los Angeles for the college football national championship has made the reaction to the new partnership somewhat subdued.

“I should be more excited,” he said. “We didn’t sleep much the last couple days so we haven’t really gotten to grasp this entire thing. We’ve been working on this for a couple years now. Good for us, dude.”

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