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Ahmad Rashad Relives Broadcasting Journey With Mike Greenberg

“When Greeny asked about Rashad’s time covering the NBA, the former football star noted that it was the league’s commissioner that took a vested interest in him.”

Ricky Keeler

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This past summer, ESPN’s documentary series The Last Dance ended up dominating the sports talk radio world. One of the prominent names that you saw often speaking about Michael Jordan was former NBC and ABC Sports broadcaster Ahmad Rashad. 

This week, Mike Greenberg had Rashad as his guest on the I’m Interested podcast to talk about his broadcasting career. Most remember Rashad for hosting NBA Inside Stuff and working on the game of the week for NBC among many other things. However, he was also the 4th pick in the 1972 NFL Draft by the then St. Louis Cardinals. 

For Rashad, he told Greenberg not many people know that he was a football player, unless they were from the state of Minnesota and that was a goal for him as a sportscaster.

“When I finished playing football, my goal was to do television so well that you would forget that I was a football player. That was over with and I was trying to move forward.”

During this podcast, Rashad mentioned that he knew broadcasting was what he wanted to do when he was in college. That is why he began working on his craft and doing as many shows as he could well before his playing days were over. 

“My last 5 years in Minnesota, I had a radio show I did every day, I had a television show I did Monday night, and on the Thursday night shows (local television), they let me do a story on any sport, so I covered the state high school basketball or hockey tournament,” he said.” By the time I finished playing and I was getting these offers from these different networks, I was not unnatural. I had 5 years where everyday after practice, I went to work.”

When Greeny asked about Rashad’s time covering the NBA, the former football star noted that it was the league’s commissioner that took a vested interest in him. Stern wanted to make sure that Rashad had credibility with the fan base. That is why he was picked to be a sideline reporter during NBC’s Sunday NBA broadcasts as well as the host of NBA Inside Stuff on Saturday mornings.

Greeny also asked about Rashad’s relationship with Michael Jordan. Rashad said it began at a charity event Magic Johnson hosted called Midsummer Night’s Magic. In the star studded field, the first person Rashad was introduced to was Michael Jordan.

“We met that night and we sort of hit it off, so we exchanged numbers, and now we have talked everyday for how many years. It was fortunate for me because I had that in. It was always access. It was fun and a lot of fun to be on the inside of that. I sort of had free reign.”

There were many great stories from Rashad in this interview about Rashad meeting David Stern, Michael Jackson, and Howard Cosell at one point in his life. While you get those fun stories, you get an inside look at how Rashad made a great career in TV and he shared a piece of advice he got on interviewing from his mentor, Ed Bradley, about conducting interviews.

“Any interview is not a question and answer,” Rashad remembers Bradley saying. “It’s a conversation. When you make it a conversation, it is easy between the two of you and your audience are flies on the wall. If you ever think of anything I have done, they have always been nice, easy, and fun. The person I am interviewing is very comfortable and that is the thing I brought to television.”

Sports Online

Bomani Jones: Chris Canty Made Me Rethink How I Look At This Job

“You’ve heard me say this before. I have a particular respect for former athletes that get in and treat this job with care like in the same way they would the other job.”

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The Right Time with Bomani Jones has been one of ESPN’s most successful podcasts recently. Part of the appeal is that the conversations can go anywhere. Jones and his guests talk plenty about sports, but they will venture into pop culture, current events, and more. When it is “Foxworth Friday”, there is a good chance that the show will give some insight on other ESPN personalities.

On the most recent edition of The Right Time, Bomani Jones and Domonique Foxworth discussed how hard it can be to come up with a unique view on a topic every single time you are asked to talk about it. When Foxworth said that ESPN Radio’s Chris Canty makes it a little easier for him to be entertaining in those moments, Jones added to the praise.

He discussed a conversation he and Canty had at a Halloween party hosted by FOX’s Nick Wright.

“You’ve heard me say this before. I have a particular respect for former athletes that get in and treat this job with care like in the same way they would the other job,” Jones said. “Chris was like ‘Hey man’. You know, he’s got a Super Bowl ring, but he’s like ‘I didn’t get a gold jacket. I wasn’t great at that. But this? I have a chance to be great at something else.’”

Bomani Jones was impressed by that attitude. He admitted that it was eye-opening.

“That really made me look back at how I do my job and was like ‘Yo, I need to be looking at this in a very similar way.’”

Foxworth agreed. He said that it isn’t hard to believe that Chris Canty wants to be great on TV and radio. It is easy to see when he is making an effort to get better.

“He works at it and he doesn’t rely on just one move,” Foxworth said. “Using the basketball analogy, he’s adding new stuff to his game.”

Chris Canty clearly has fans in Bristol. ESPN keeps finding ways to use him across multiple platforms. In addition to his daily ESPN Radio show with Chris Carlin, he also makes regular appearances on Get Up with Mike Greenberg.

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Sports Online

Dave Portnoy Drops Appeal Of Lawsuit Against Business Insider

“In dropping the suit, both Portnoy and Insider have agreed to pay their own legal fees according to Awful Announcing.”

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Dave Portnoy is done with his legal fight against Insider. He filed an appeal after a judge dismissed his initial defamation suit in November. That appeal has been dropped.

Nich Carlson, the Global Editor-in-Chief of Insider, took to Twitter Friday to announce that the legal standoff had come to an end. He also notes that Insider is not surprised by the decision. The company stands by the reporting in the initial story, in which multiple women alleged that sexual encounters with Portnoy turned “violent and humiliating”. It was one of two stories the site published featuring these kinds of accusations against Portnoy.

Both sides will move on. In dropping the suit, both Portnoy and Insider have agreed to pay their own legal fees according to Awful Announcing.

In November, a Massachusetts judge ruled that Portnoy would have to prove that Insider acted with “actual malice” in publishing the stories. That was going to be a high bar considering that Dave Portnoy is a public figure.

Neither he nor his legal team have publicly commented about the status of the lawsuit.

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Sports Online

Nick Wright: Majority of Media Got Tom Brady Retirement Story Wrong

“I don’t think people understand that these are not easy decisions.”

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The news of the retirement of Tom Brady wasn’t the most shocking development, but FS1 host Nick Wright believes the way some of media coverage around Brady evolved wasn’t handled correctly.

During his What’s Wright? with Nick Wright podcast, Wright argued that those who have been given tremendous talents are put in different situations than those who weren’t, stopping just short of saying Brady had a duty to continue to perform his craft. He later added that those joking about Brady’s marriage failing for an extra season in the league weren’t viewing the entire picture, and that the divorce wasn’t something worth joking about.

“I see a lot of stuff people are saying about Brady, and I think it’s bullshit,” Wright said. “‘Oh, you sacrificed your marriage to 8-9’. And I don’t think people understand that these are not easy decisions. These are not easy things, and people know we know we are at times putting yourself first, in a selfish way that you’re not supposed to as a parent.”

The First Things First host then said the situation is similar to one he experienced as a child, but grew to realize there were bigger things than simply being a parent.

“It’s what I learned from my own dad. My own dad — who I have massive admiration for — absolutely put me and my sister — at times — on the backburner to negotatioting the best bargain possible for the Kansas City Firefighters. His legacy — he’s a great dad, who I adore — (but) his life’s legacy is not the things he did for me and my sister, his real legacy is the things he did for those firefighters and their families. You have those push and pull things and you make decisions and you deal with the fallout of it. It’s really sad that he and Gisele didn’t make it.”

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