Before the NBA tipped off the 2020-21 season, the league instituted a new load management policy, penalizing teams $100,000 for resting their stars during nationally televised games.
Either the memo never made it to the Nets, or they’re just OK racking up fines, but whatever the reasoning, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is fed up with how few games Brooklyn’s stars are on the court.
Wednesday night against the 76ers should have been a battle of the elite, two teams fighting for the No. 1 seed. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were there for the Sixers, but one night after looking healthy in a 30-point scoring effort, Kevin Durant was out for the Nets. Kyrie Irving, who has missed his fair share of games this season was the lone star in the lineup for Brooklyn. James Harden, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, none of them were on the court and it aggravated Smith who stopped just short of calling for fans to boycott.
“So much for looking forward to tonight’s game,” Smith said in a Twitter video. “Win, lose or draw, half of Brooklyn ain’t there. What sense does it make, what difference does it make, this is the BS that I’m talking about right here, right now. This is that stuff that I’m talking about and then you all wonder why I be calling cats out! I mean damn. Damn! How many days off do you need?!”
Smith said he’s not going to call for fans to boycott regular season games, but did say, “sometimes I wish we would react like that,” reminding players that it can’t be all about the playoffs, they get paid for the full year.
Declining TV ratings was a major story for the NBA last summer and load management does nothing for the league as they’ve tried to rebound this season to placate their TV partners.
Two months ago, LeBron James came out strongly against the idea of load management. “I don’t believe in it,” LeBron said. “We all need more rest, shit. But I’m here to work, to punch my clock in and be available to my teammates.” Unfortunately, James sustained a right ankle sprain a few weeks later. But at 36 years old, with a lot of mileage on his body, James shows up to play when he’s healthy. Other stars, especially ones who play for the Brooklyn Nets can’t say the same.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Chris Long Didn’t Like the Attention That Came With TV Analyst Work
“If I’m like ‘Damn I got to take a flight up there every week, I got to get suits’, then I don’t really want to do that.”
Former NFL defensive end Chris Long has found his niche in the media space as the host of The Green Light Podcast and it is an outlet that he has been very comfortable with in terms of expressing his opinions.
Long was a guest on The Season with Peter Schrager podcast and he told Schrager that on the occasions when he has been an analyst on television, the attention he got was not something he was completely comfortable with.
“Sure, I maybe could work towards having one of those good jobs, but I also understand there’s a big process with that.
“I’ve been at a crossroads at times as a media guy where I’m like ‘Should I just do that?’ If I got to ask myself, then I don’t really want it. If I’m like ‘Damn I got to take a flight up there every week, I got to get suits’, then I don’t really want to do that and honestly, the couple of times I’ve been on TV, I don’t like the attention.”
One of the reasons Long mentioned why he isn’t comfortable being on TV is he doesn’t want to feel like he has to perform and on his podcast, he can be himself.
“Being on TV, I get really uncomfortable performing. I don’t like performing and I don’t like being told what to say. Here, that never happens. For the most part, I think finding your groove in this side of things is just having conversations…It’s just a nice change of pace.”
Long also feels that in this day and age of social media, it’s a constant argument about any NFL point that is being made and that is not something he wants to deal with.
“The world of podcasting has gotten better where the money is very good. Maybe I’d be making a little less money starting out doing studio stuff. For me, I do not like — whether it’s Twitter or whether it’s a guy on the street — I’m over arguing with people.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Launching Podcast with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Dirty Mo Media
“New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media has announced a podcast deal with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.
Hamlin will host Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin on a weekly basis during the NASCAR season. The Actions Detrimental branding is verbiage used by NASCAR for fines assessed to drivers for their disparaging comments about the sport. Known as one of NASCAR’s more outspoken drivers, Hamlin has been fined several times under the “actions detrimental to stock car racing” statutes.
New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.
Denny Hamlin jokingly thanked Dirty Mo Media for the “opportunity and the fat check” the company wrote for him to host the podcast in a Twitter announcement.
The 42-year-old Hamlin has won 48 races during his 18-year NASCAR Cup Series career. In addition to serving as a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, he co-owns 23XI Racing with basketball legend Michael Jordan.
The podcast is the latest in an expansion of content produced by the Mooresville, North Carolina-based digital outlet. After beginning with The Dale Jr. Download, the company has grown to include other podcasts like Door, Bumper, Clear, and Speed Street, as well as video projects like The Next Level.
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.”
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.”