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Mark Jackson Loves ABC Gig, Does Want To Coach Again

“Jackson doesn’t just want to see himself on a sideline again. He also believes that some team needs to pick up the phone and call his partner.”

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The two former coaches that serve as analysts on ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals held a conference call with the media yesterday. Both Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy were asked if they were still interested in coaching or if they were happy where they are. For Jackson, the answer is both.

“Well, obviously it’s an incredible job we have and we’re blessed and fortunate to be able to call another NBA Finals,” he said. “I think coaching is in both of our veins, and we look forward to the day — I know I can speak for myself and say I look forward to the day that I’m coaching again, but I’m having a blast.”

During his three years as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Jackson helped laid the foundation for what the team would become. In 2013, he led the team to its first playoff trip in seven years. That season the Warriors pulled an upset in round one, knocking off the third seeded Denver Nuggets. The next season, he led the team to its first 50 win season since 1993-94 and the first time it made the playoffs in back-to-back years since 1992.

Jackson doesn’t just want to see himself on a sideline again. He also believes that some team needs to pick up the phone and call his partner.

“I know if I was hiring, without a doubt Jeff Van Gundy would be my hire. He’s a brilliant basketball mind, an incredible basketball coach. I’m speaking of a guy that sat in a chair and watched him lead a team as my head coach. So I look forward to him having an opportunity, if that’s what he wants, because the game certainly needs his brilliance from that side because we witnessed it firsthand from this side long enough in my opinion.”

Van Gundy served as an assistant coach under four Knicks head coaches before being put in charge in New York in 1996. He led the Knicks for six seasons, reaching the NBA Finals in 1999. In 2003 he was named the head coach of the Houston Rockets, a job he held for four seasons.

He returned the compliment to Jackson, saying that “confounds me that he’s not being interviewed for every opening” and adding that Mark Jackson is one of the best leaders he has ever seen in the NBA.

Van Gundy was not as eager to commit to wanting to coach again as Jackson was.

Sports TV News

Kathryn Tappen Joining NBC’s Big Ten Coverage

“Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.”

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NBC has tabbed Kathryn Tappen as its sideline reporter for the network’s upcoming coverage of Big Ten football, according to a report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.

According to Marchand, Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.

Tappen has hosted Notre Dame football’s studio coverage and Peacock Sunday Night Football Final. She also worked as NBC’s lead interviewer for its coverage of the PGA Tour, but left that broadcast team at the end of 2022 as part of the network’s larger shakeup of its golf coverage.

The appointment of Kathryn Tappen conceivably concludes the Big Ten on NBC broadcast crew. Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge are expected to pair as the network’s play-by-play announcer and color analyst, respectively. NBC has yet to officially unveil its coverage plans for the 2023 college football season.

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Sports TV News

Peter King: Sean McVay Wants to be a Star, ‘Not Just Some Guy on TV’

“I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

Jordan Bondurant

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L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay will remain at his post for the 2023-24 season. The team tweeted that news Friday afternoon, seeming to, at least for now, put the rumors of McVay leaving coaching for a TV job to rest.

ProFootballTalk’s Peter King wrote in Football Morning in America on Monday that McVay understands the kind of position on television he’s looking for may not necessarily be there for him.

“I don’t think that was the only thing about TV that appealed to him, but I don’t think McVay was interested in being Just a Guy on TV,” King wrote. “I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

King noted that McVay has been told to “Do what makes you happy” by folks with the Rams. He also said he believes coaching is what Makes McVay happy. Especially with a chance to shake up his coaching staff and being involved in trying to bring the team back from a 5-12 season in their follow-up campaign to winning the Super Bowl.

“He wants to be challenged, and this staff wasn’t doing it,” King said. “Offensive coordinator Liam Coen may not have been what McVay wanted in an OC—a coach who would challenge him and bring new ideas to him—and that could be why he’s going back to the University of Kentucky as a coordinator.”

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Sports TV News

Lisa Salters Makes Monday Night Football History Completing 11th Season on Sideline

“Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday night’s Cowboys/Bucs wild card playoff game set a new milestone for ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

The network tweeted that Salters completed her 11th season in that role. That makes her the longest tenured reporter in Monday Night Football history.

Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.

“When I first got the call to do Monday Night Football, I would have never thought that 10 years later I would still be doing it,” Salters said last year in a video reminiscing on ten years on Monday Night Football. “I was at home and I got a phone call from my boss Vince Doria and he said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football‘, and I couldn’t believe what he just asked me.”

Salters is also featured on network coverage of the NBA, something she’s been doing since 2005.

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