Robert Horry was never what you would call a “superstar” in the NBA, but his name is well-known to basketball’s biggest fans. “Big Shot Bob,” as the sixteen-year veteran became known, won seven NBA championships during his stints with the Rockets, Lakers, and Spurs. Horry reportedly hated the nickname, but it was well-earned thanks to his penchant for hitting clutch shots to seal victories in the playoffs.
These days, Horry stays around the Lakers and the NBA as a studio analyst for Spectrum SportsNet in Los Angeles. The network had its NBA crew on hand on Wednesday night in anticipation of Game 5 between the Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers. That game, and the rest of the NBA slate, was postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the floor for their game against the Orlando Magic earlier in the evening. The boycott was in response to police in Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting Jacob Blake, an unarmed black man, in the back seven times.
Horry spoke on the issue from the point of view of a Black parent. His reaction has drawn praise and support from around the country.
August 25 was Horry’s 50th birthday. He says he sat on the couch that day and cried thinking about the video of Blake being shot. He said the first time he watched the video, it was without volume. “I thought maybe they were going to tase him, right? Because that’s what they do with white people. They tase them.”
It was his youngest son Christian that pointed out that Blake was shot. Horry broke down in tears as he recalled the conversation with his 14-year-old that followed.
“I worry about him when he walks out that door. I have a 21-year-old son. I worry about him. Because Black men are endangered species pretty much. People, these cops, are just killing because they feel like if they don’t have they body cams on, they have a right.”
Any parent would struggle to listen to the conversation Horry says he has had with his sons without getting choked up.
“I say ‘Dude, I don’t care what’s going on, because at the end of the day I want you coming home to me. If you have to lay down on the ground and they can kick you, beat you, at least you’re gonna go to the hospital and you’re gonna come home to me. Whatever they say to you, don’t take it upon yourself to let that rage you have against that cop come out, because he has the gun. He can end you. I don’t want him to end you, because if he ends you, that means I’m gonna end him.'”
Horry acknowledged that that sort of sentiment isn’t necessarily right or okay, but said that his feelings are shaped by already having lost one child. His daughter Ashlyn was 17 when she died of a rare genetic disorder in 2011.
Skip Bayless Says He And Stephen A. Smith ‘Sorted Out’ Their Disagreement
“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”
Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless were locked in a war of words last week following the First Take host’s appearance on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.
The origins of their partnership were discussed and Bayless admitted he did not like the way Smith characterized the state of First Take before he arrived on set. Smith insisted that Bayless simply misunderstood what he meant by saying that he was told the show needed him.
Over the weekend, Skip Bayless says he and Stephen A. Smith got together at the Bayless home in California to talk things out in private.
“He was in LA, he came over, we sat by the pool,” he said on the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show. “It wasn’t the easiest conversation for a while, but we slowly but surely sorted it out. We got through it, and we have been through so much together.”
Bayless reiterated that he considers Smith a brother. They love each other. That doesn’t mean they are always going to remember events the same way or see eye-to-eye all the time.
“Brothers fight. We have fought before. I’m assuming we will fight again.”
Fighting doesn’t mean the relationship is fractured. In fact, Skip Bayless was adamant that he remains closer to Smith than he is to most people in his life.
“I don’t trust easily because of the way I was raised, but I do trust Stephen Anthony Smith. Trust him with my life. Always have and always will. I trust he will always be there for me, and you better believe I will always be there for him.”
FOX Sports VP: ‘USFL Proves Spring Football As Valuable As Rising Properties’
“We want to show we belong in that category, and I think that happened.”
Michael Mulvihill says the USFL accomplished exactly what FOX needed it to. It proved there is a large enough audience for spring football that it has a value on par with some of the hottest properties in sports media right now.
“All we wanted to do is demonstrate that spring football can do viewership at the levels of Premier League, NHL regular season, Formula One or MLS,” the FOX Sports Executive VP said according to Sports Business Journal. “We want to show we belong in that category, and I think that happened.”
While none of those properties are pulling in the kind of media rights money the NFL or major college football is, Mulvihill pointed out that all of them have been in the news for the right reasons.
“You’re talking about properties that have all recently negotiated deals at substantial increases, or with F1, people know it’s about to.”
The USFL had a solid broadcasting footprint with games airing on FOX, NBC, FS1 and USA. Regular season games for the first year of the revived league averaged just under 700,000 viewers.
Mulvihill said fans behaved exactly how he expected them to in the first season of the USFL. Without any team loyalties, he isn’t surprised that people watched less of an average USFL game than they did the NFL or college football.
The USFL Playoffs begin this weekend. Canton, OH will host the league’s first championship game on July 3.
Pelicans Extend Deal With Bally Sports New Orleans
“The deal will also put the team on the new Bally Sports+ streaming service, which had a soft launch earlier this week.”
Sinclair has reached an agreement on a new rights deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. Bally Sports New Orleans will remain the team’s local TV partner.
The deal will also put the team on the new Bally Sports+ streaming service, which had a soft launch earlier this week. The service rolls out in full this fall.
“When we constructed this new agreement with Bally Sports New Orleans the main priority was distribution and the ability to deliver our games directly to our fans,” Dennis Lauscha, President of the New Orleans Pelicans, said in a press release. With the upcoming launch of Bally Sports+, Bally Sports’ direct-to-consumer platform, any Pelicans fan will be able to have access to Bally Sports New Orleans in the team’s local territory. This partnership allows us to continue to deliver unique, compelling Pelicans content across multiple platforms with the highest production quality. We are still working every option with Bally Sports New Orleans to improve the accessibility, ancillary content and distribution of Pelicans programming to all of our fans across Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region.”
Bally Sports New Orleans will carry around 75 regular season games per year. The network will also produce first round playoff and preseason games.
“The New Orleans Pelicans have been a great partner over the years and we look forward to building this relationship into the future,” added Steve Simpson, SVP and GM of Bally Sports New Orleans. “Our ability to deliver Pelicans content to as many local fans as possible, on both linear distribution channels and the all-new Bally Sports+ streaming product this fall, is incredibly exciting as we continue to grow the next generation of Pelicans fans.”
The Pelicans did look at new media partners before re-signing with Bally Sports New Orleans. Karen Brodkin, Executive Vice President of Endeavor, who the team hired to consult the process, noted that the existing relationship and the addition of a proprietary streaming platform for Sinclair made the difference.