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Charles Barkley Sits In With Mike Missanelli, Blasts Ben Simmons & Anti-Vaxxers

“ Barkley is at the forefront of vaccine awareness in his home state of Alabama.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Turner analyst Charles Barkley dropped into the 97.5 The Fanatic studios on Thursday afternoon and co-hosted The Mike Missanelli Show. The Basketball Hall of Famer discussed all sorts of topics, from a potential Ben Simmons trade out of Philadelphia to the ongoing vaccine rollout.

“I’ve been asked every single day about this Ben Simmons thing,” Barkley said on the show. “I think what annoys Philadelphia fans the most, and I’ve been here for 36 years. I think they are mad because he’s afraid.”

Simmons has been criticized all offseason for his postseason play with the 76ers. The forward posted the lowest playoff free throw percentage in NBA history during their 2021 playoff run and shied away from shooting in fourth quarters.

“When you watch the Milwaukee Bucks play,” Barkley continued. “That boy Giannis [Antetokounmpo] ain’t no better free-throw shooter than Ben Simmons, but he ain’t scared. He going man, and you gotta admire that. He don’t care if he miss 100 of them; he ain’t going to run from the ball.”

Barkley also discussed the ongoing push and pull with people who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine.

“For us to be selfish and not trying to help the world get back where we can take these stupid masks off and go out to dinner in a full restaurant – I just think it’s selfish,” Barkley said.

“I’ve heard these idiots talk about chips in it, and I heard people talking about [the government] wants to follow us around,” Barkley told Missanelli. “They can follow us around anyway! Everybody’s got a cell phone! And first of all, what are you doing that you’re worried about people following you?”

Barkley is at the forefront of vaccine awareness in his home state of Alabama. He recently held a “Get Stuck with Chuck” vaccine drive urging Alabamians to protect themselves against the virus. Alabama ranks near the bottom of U.S. states in vaccination rate.

Sports Radio News

ESPN 97.5 Host Vanessa Richardson Named New Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter

Vanessa Richardson, co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, announced that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

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Vanessa Richardson

The Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season and it’s a familiar name in Houston sports talk radio.

Vanessa Richardson, co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, announced that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

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Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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Boomer Esiason: Michael Kay ‘Swooping In’ On Stephen Nelson ‘Just Not Right’

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

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Boomer Esiason

Much has been made about the potential of New York Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay announcing Friday Night Baseball on AppleTV+ while slugger Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. During Boomer & Gio Friday morning, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti disagreed on whether Kay should have taken the gig from usual AppleTV+ announcer Stephen Nelson.

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

“I bet he put that out there to see what the reaction would be,” Giannotti said of Kay’s comments that he would be “big-footing” Nelson by taking the assignment. “And the reaction was like that, and was like ‘You know, I’m kinda uncomfortable doing this. Maybe I shouldn’t do it’. And no one wanted to see it anyway.”

“They shouldn’t do it,” said Esiason of AppleTV+ allowing Kay to step in for Nelson.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and let’s say it was Pete Alonso chasing this record and there was AppleTV for potentially 61 or 62, you’re telling me that you’d want a fella named (Stephen) Nelson over Gary Cohen? There’s no way in hell!”, Giannotti countered.

“I want what’s right,” Esiason said.

“AppleTV’s not right to begin with,” Giannotti replied.

“But Michael Kay swooping in on some kid named Nelson, that’s not right. That’s just not right. You just can’t do that!”, argued Esiason.

“Yeah, but the fact that it’s on AppleTV to begin with is annoying,” Giannotti concluded. “It’s just annoying.”

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