COVID-19 has hit the sports media world’s biggest star. Stephen A Smith tweeted out this morning ahead of ESPN’s First Take that he had an announcement for the viewers at home.
This tweet was a little misleading, as the tone of this tweet would seem like he had some positive information for the viewers this morning. The actual news was quite the opposite, as Stephen A told the viewers of First Take that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’ve tested positive for COVID-19, I have the coronavirus. I learned this over the weekend,” said Smith on First Take.
Smith said that he started experiencing mild symptoms after he returned from Los Angeles, and was running a fever on Thursday evening. He was absent from the show on Monday due to his COVID diagnosis but clarified that his absence from the show on Thursday and Friday of last week was due to an endoscopy and was not COVID-19 related.
“Thank God I was vaccinated,” Smith said. “Thank God I got the Pfizer vaccine, two shots a few months ago,” said Smith. He added that he was feeling fine and had only mild symptoms from the virus.
Smith said that he will not be on the show for the rest of the week and will be ready to go for the new year next month.
To nobody’s surprise, Smith also took this opportunity to immediately lead into discussing Kyrie Irving returning to the Brooklyn Nets for road games. First Take host Molly Qerim posed the question to Stephen A. if it was the right move for the Nets to bring Kyrie Irving back to the team.
“I think that it is a horrible move. I think that it’s a disgraceful move. The Nets ownership is incredibly disappointing and I think that the league should intervene,” said Smith.
Stephen Watson Announced as New Host On Bally Sports Wisconsin
Bally Sports Wisconsin, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks, has announced a new host for their respective pre and postgame shows. Brewers Live and Bucks Live now have Stephen Watson as a host.
Bally Sports Wisconsin, the television home of the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks, has announced a new host of it’s pre and postgame offerings. Stephen Watson was announced as a new host for Brewers Live and Bucks Live.
Watson comes to Bally Sports Wisconsin from WISN-TV (Channel 12). There he had spent the last seven years as a sports anchor/reporter/host and covered all of Wisconsin’s major teams. In those seven years, Watson won three Emmy Awards.
“This is a dream opportunity to continue to cover two of the most successful franchises in sports right now while working alongside some of the most talented people in this industry,” Watson said. “Wisconsin sports fans are among the most passionate and dedicated in the country, and I look forward to matching their enthusiasm in my Brewers and Bucks coverage as a host and storyteller.”
Watson will share duties of hosting Brewers Live with Craig Coshun airing before and after each Brewers telecast. He will have similar responsibilities when hosting Bucks Live.
“We’re thrilled to add Stephen to our Bally Sports Wisconsin team. He is a proven content creator; his local knowledge and relationships will greatly benefit our telecasts,” said Tony Tortorici, executive producer, Bally Sports Wisconsin.
Watson is also a collegiate graduate of the area, graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 2011.
NBA Draft Ratings Rise 32% For ESPN and ABC
“The event peaked at 8:15pm ET when four and a half million viewers tuned in.”
The 2022 NBA Draft may have lacked the high profile prospect that prior drafts have had, but the intrigue surrounding the top three picks led to strong audience interest.
With all eyes on the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Houston Rockets viewership for the draft rose 32% year over year for ESPN. The first round on ABC and ESPN averaged close to four million viewers (3,988,000).
Paolo Banchero wound up going #1 to the Magic, Chet Holmgren to #2 to the Thunder, and Jabari Smith Jr. #3 to the Rockets. The full two rounds of the draft averaged just over three million viewers (3,047,000). Round 2 aired exclusively on ESPN.
The first round on ESPN and ABC was the most-watched program for June 23rd across all of television in all key demos. The event peaked at 8:15pm ET when four and a half million viewers (4,500,000) tuned in.
Shannon Sharpe Apologizes to Richard Jefferson for Calling Him Lazy
FS1’s Shannon Sharpe took to social media to clear the air between him and ESPN’s Richard Jefferson over some comments Sharpe made about the former NBA champion.
Sharpe said Jefferson was lazy for only wanting to talk about basketball. Jefferson is an NBA analyst for ESPN and doesn’t normally appear on debate shows or provide analysis on other sports.
“There is not a person in this industry since I have retired that would ever refer to my work ethic as being lazy,” Jefferson said in a response video on his TikTok. “So as long as you live don’t ever do that again or this conversation is gonna be much different.”
Sharpe saw the video and apologized saying his assessment of Jefferson was lazy.
“I want to apologize, I come to you as a man, Rich, and apologize to you for my take on what you said,” he said.
Much like Jefferson did, Sharpe then went on to break down the differences between hosts on debate shows who have to watch and study various different sports and analysts like Jefferson who only specialize in analyzing one sport.
But ultimately Sharpe wanted to bury the hatchet and make it clear to the internet that there’s no problems between the two.
“Richard and I do not have a beef,” Sharpe said. “There is nothing going on, and this is my last time addressing this issue.”
Jefferson tweeted on Saturday accepting Shannon’s apology.