One year ago on Thursday, the whole sports world changed and our new normal occurred due to COVID-19. During this week, some sports shows will look back on what they were doing on their shows at night when the news broke that the NBA season was suspended.
Here is a clip from that night’s SportsCenter broadcast:
For Scott Van Pelt, SportsCenter with SVP was going to be a lot different than a normal Wednesday night. This week, Van Pelt and Stanford Steve were joined on the SVPod by NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, reporters Malika Andrews and Royce White (White was in Oklahoma City for Jazz-Thunder), producer Marco Alfandary and director Joe Iuliano to reflect on the events from that night.
The show began with Alfandary talking about what was going on as the news started to break that the season was going to be suspended and that the night wasn’t going to be the same as Van Pelt was set to due a cut-in with Wojnarowski at halftime of the Nuggets-Mavericks game.
“I can remember walking into the control room maybe a little bit early. There were some early rumblings that maybe something unusual was afoot at the Thunder game. We were watching Woj’s timeline very closely. I remember being in the control room and the rest of it was an out-of-body experience as things started to cascade.”
For Andrews, at the time she thought she was missing out on covering a game without fans, but she thought back to how she feels now compared to a year ago when she got the call to get off the road.
“To think about that now versus what ended up happening. It is amazing to think back at how quick the dominoes were falling.”
Woj admits that before the night that the NBA halted play, the virus was on his mind and even predicted he would be writing more about health and safety than assists and rebounds.
“The NBA was preparing its teams in a way that the United States government wasn’t preparing its citizens to be quite honest,” he said on the podcast. “I remember saying to Cristina Daglas at some point in that week before, we are getting to a point where I think all I should be doing is writing about this virus. I don’t think there is any basketball stuff I should be worried about now. To the extent it did, I don’t think anyone else was prepared for that.”
Van Pelt mentioned that he thinks about that night, which he called the most memorable night of his career and how the control room helped him in a big way.
“That night, I remember that there was a permanence. We were the ones that got to document it. It wasn’t because we were good, we were on the air. What you guys did in that control room allowed me to be the anchor that hopefully didn’t throw the ball out of bounds. I always knew you were not going to put me in harm’s way. I just remember being so grateful we had a great room that we can trust. It’s what I think of now.”
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.
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.”
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.
Nick Wright: Majority of Media Got Tom Brady Retirement Story Wrong
“I don’t think people understand that these are not easy decisions.”
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.”
Dan Le Batard: It Enrages Me That There’s a Craig Carton Show on TV
“The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”
The news of Tom Brady announcing his retirement on Wednesday came as Dan Le Batard and company were on the air, and in the midst of the initial reaction to Brady’s announcement, Le Batard offered a quick shot at WFAN and FS1 host Craig Carton.
Carton has been hosting a morning show on FS1 since last September. Craig added the TV show to co-hosting his successful afternoon drive program on WFAN alongside Evan Roberts.
But as Le Batard and the rest of the show were looking at the TV trying to figure out what was going on with the Brady story, Dan said he thought it was crazy Carton was on television.
“It enrages me that there’s a Carton show,” Le Batard said. “The man went to jail. The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”
Carton went to prison for a year after facing a charge of securities and wire fraud. In the fall of 2020, after being released from jail earlier in the year, Carton made his return to WFAN.
It’s possible that Le Batard, who is busy running his own independent media operation, wasn’t aware Carton had a TV show. So it’s likely seeing Craig’s face probably was a bit of a shock. But it was clear Dan wasn’t expecting to learn the news from Carton’s show.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.