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The Undefeated Adds 2 New Senior Editors

“Former Charlotte Observer journalist Mike McCray joins as the senior editor for daily digital content. Erik Horne previously from The Athletic will serve as senior editor for sports.”

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 The Undefeated has added two experienced journalists as senior editors at the ESPN media platform.

Former Charlotte Observer journalist Mike McCray joins as the senior editor for daily digital content. Erik Horne previously from The Athletic will serve as senior editor for sports.

McCray will report to managing editor Monique Jones, while Horne will report directly to the platform’s deputy editor for sports Ed Guzman.

The Undefeated is ESPN’s multi-platform content initiative exploring the intersection of sports, race and culture. 

“I am very pleased to welcome Mike and Erik – two tremendously talented journalists – to the team,” said Raina Kelley, ESPN’s Vice President and Editor-in-Chief for The Undefeated. “Their experience, creativity and innovation within the profession will expand our gaze on Black experience across sports, culture, fashion, and everything.”

McCray will be responsible for the day-to-day content on the website, editing content, and a leadership role in implementing the project’s research and analytics strategy. 

His accomplishments include work on award-winning “CARRUTH,” which won Sports Illustrated’s 2018 Best Podcast and an Emmy nomination for his part in the documentary “Brooklyn: How A Black Community Was Erased from Uptown Charlotte,”

Horne has written for multiple publications throughout his career, including The Oklahoman, Score Atlanta, and The Daily Ardmoreite.

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Kendrick Perkins’ Media Career Happened By Accident

“I was the only person that ever did First Take and Undisputed in one day.”

Ricky Keeler

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You never know what can happen once you post something on social media. For Kendrick Perkins, he was tweeting his thoughts on NBA games after his 14-year career came to an end. He never had an interest in being in the media or on television, but tweeting ended up getting him noticed.

On the latest episode of The Old Man and the Three with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter podcast, Perkins was a guest and said that his rise in media did not happen on purpose:

“It happened by accident. You know how they have those classes you can take in the summer while you are playing? I never took those. I never had interest in being on TV or in the media, but I always respected the media as a player.”

“All of a sudden, I get a DM on Twitter from a producer from Undisputed that said ‘Hey Perk, would you be interested in coming on Undisputed with Skip and Shannon? Hell yeah…I go down and I do Undisputed and they wanted me to stay an extra day,”

“They reached back out and were like hey, would you be interested in doing the remainder of the playoffs? I started off hot. I was right about everything, making bold predictions. Then, ESPN sent me a DM, hey do you want to come do the car wash in Bristol? My career all started on Twitter.”

Once Perkins was on ESPN, he remembered the first time he was on Get Up and a viral take he gave had the network ask him to come back:

“I go to Bristol and I remember my first time on Get Up, I go on and say Kawhi Leonard mimics Michael Jordan and the s**t went viral. All of a sudden, ESPN started calling me back.”

“I’m falling in love with TV. They are loving me. I was the only person that ever did First Take and Undisputed in one day. First Take was like we can’t have that no more. We are just going to lock you in for the remainder of the playoffs.”

Perkins and Redick got into a conversation about how they criticize current players since some players in the league used to be their teammates. Perkins has no problem doing it because he views himself as the same guy that he was when he was his locker room:

“The same Perk you see on TV is the same guy that I was in the locker room. I would say the same thing as far as holding them accountable….You have to be yourself. Don’t come into this media space trying to be something that you are not.

The two of them also took the listener a little bit inside the curtain of First Take and Perkins mentioned he was asked to give a particular take during the 2021 NBA Finals:

“Doing First Take, you know it’s a debate show. When you are prepping for it, it’s all about where you disagree at to make great TV. Sometimes, I may play devil’s advocate. Last year, the Suns jumped on the Bucks, 2-0. I’m getting ready to go on First Take the next morning and they like hey Perk, would you sit up here and say the Suns are on the verge of being a dynasty? People still bring that up to this day.”

“What people don’t realize, good and bad engagement is what the head people at ESPN want. Even if you engage with the content and you may say look at this clown with this BS take, they want that.”

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Draymond Green, JJ Redick Sell Out Live Podcast Show

The show will collaborate for the first time and it will mark an interesting time in the thrusting of new media onto the public consciousness.

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Old Man Draymond

The two new and most visible faces of the new media influx have teamed up for a live show that will take place in New York City. Draymond Green and JJ Redick are bringing their respective podcasts to the stage for a live experience.

On Monday (June 27), Draymond Green’s The Draymond Green Show and JJ Redick’s The Old Man and the Three will seek to entertain an already sold out audience at The City Winery in New York City.

The show will collaborate for the first time and it will mark an interesting time in the thrusting of new media onto the public consciousness. JJ Redick has earned universal praise for how he has handled his career post-retirement from the NBA, including appear often opposite Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take as well as the network’s myriad of other programming.

Draymond Green has been very public with his podcast that has very publicly recorded episodes minutes after Warriors games. He has recently invoked his mantra that he isn’t a part of the media (despite signing a contract with Turner Sports and Colin Cowherd’s The Volume). Instead he insists he is a part of the aforementioned new media.

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Scott Van Pelt Not Hurt By Draymond Green’s “New Media” Comment

“He’s the one that said it. Isn’t he the one who said he’s new media? I was just trying to give him credit in saying, ‘Look, you now have control of your narrative and you can go do your podcast now.’”

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Scott Van Pelt

We have heard an awful lot in the fast month about “new media” with a large section of that discussion coming in regards to athletes in or formerly in the NBA. One such interaction was between a member of that new media and Scott Van Pelt.

After Game 5 of the NBA Finals, a victorious Draymond Green was interviewed on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt. In the interview, Van Pelt asked Green about dealing with the outside “noise” around the Finals. After Green gave a to-be-expected type answer, Van Pelt followed-up with the initial comment that start a wave.

Van Pelt: You’re part of the media now and you get to control the conversation from your perspective and I know you’ll-

Green: New media.

He then corrected Van Pelt’s assertion that Green had stated Stephen A. Smith was new media by saying:

Green: And by the way go watch The Draymond Green Show. I said Stephen A. sometimes acts like the new media. Sometimes he doesn’t. That’s on you, but nonetheless, don’t just lump me in with media, baby. It’s the new media.

Scott Van Pelt appeared on the SI Media Podcast and was asked about this exchange.

“I didn’t get that,” Van Pelt said of Green’s resistance in being associated with the word “media.”

“He’s the one that said it. Isn’t he the one who said he’s new media? I was just trying to give him credit in saying, ‘Look, you now have control of your narrative and you can go do your podcast now.’”

Van Pelt went on about Green’s categorizing of Smith and other media as a separate column of media.

“I guess what Draymond actually said was sometimes he’s new media. I don’t give a shit who’s what…I think now as it relates to media, there’s no new and old because people that are in the old media are doing the new media and people that are in new media are cutting through in ways that people in old media didn’t think they ever would many years ago. I guess all I’m saying is whatever Stephen A. is, he exists in both lanes and Draymond, clearly his content cuts through on his podcast or with me.

I wasn’t hurt by it. I didn’t take it like he was mad at me. I was just correcting the semantics. It didn’t trouble me. Whatever. However Draymond frames what Stephen A. Smith is or what any of us are, it doesn’t feel important. I think it’s important he has that place where he wants to do his thing. And I think people are interested in hearing from the guy that was just out there not long after saying what he has to say.”

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