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Jeff Pearlman: Quincy Isaiah ‘Oozes Magic Johnson’ In HBO’s ‘Winning Time’

My wife and I would watch him and be like, ‘Is that Magic? No, that’s Quincy playing Magic.’ … It’s one of the best pieces of casting I’ve ever seen in any TV show.”

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Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, the series about the “Showtime”-era Los Angeles Lakers, is set to premiere on HBO Max March 6.

The series is based on Jeff Pearlman’s 2014 book, Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, and in anticipation and promotion of the Winning Time premiere, the author is currently making the rounds to talk about the adaptation of his book and his experience watching it become a TV production.

Pearlman appeared on The Rich Eisen Show last week and spoke highly of the casting to guest host Suzy Shuster. Actors like John C. Reilly, Jason Clarke, and Adrien Brody are highly accomplished, award-winning actors. So you’d expect Pearlman to say they’re great in this series.

But the great unknown before Winning Time debuts is the performance of Quincy Isaiah as Earvin “Magic” Johnson. It’s a key role since the Lakers drafting Magic in 1979 tipped off the “Showtime” era. How much Isaiah is featured has yet to be seen, but he’s shown prominently in trailers for the series and looks the part, so it seems safe to assume viewers will see a lot of him.

Pearlman was extremely impressed by Isaiah, not just from his performance but by his life story, and thinks viewers are going to feel the same way when they watch.

“You watch him and he just oozes Magic Johnson,” said Pearlman. “It’s uncanny. My wife and I would watch him and be like, ‘Is that Magic? No, that’s Quincy playing Magic.’ They nail it. They just nail it. It’s one of the best pieces of casting I’ve ever seen in any TV show ever. It just happens to be based on my book.”

Shuster teased Pearlman about naturally saying that everyone involved in Winning Time is great because the production is based on his book and he wants people to watch. Pearlman acknowledged that but said that if he didn’t think an actor’s performance was very good, he just wouldn’t say anything.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, premieres on HBO Max Sunday, March 6.

Sports Radio News

Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo: I Don’t Do As Much Prep As You Think

“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Chris “Mad Dog” Russo would much rather go with the flow for his radio show than try and put everything together ahead of time and hope it comes out well.

Russo was the featured guest on the Golf Digest podcast The Loop, and hosts Christopher Powers, Alex Myers and Steve Hennessey first congratulated Mad Dog on his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame last year. Russo mentioned how he had written a short speech but decided against that after seeing the other inductees run long with their speeches.

Mad Dog was asked about preparing for his SiriusXM sports talk show every day, and he said he really doesn’t put a ton of work into putting a show together.

“On certain days a little more, because on Mondays I do that NFL recap so that takes a little while to put that together at 5 o’clock – probably a couple of hours,” Russo said. “Outside of that not as much as you’d think. I mean obviously I’m gonna follow what’s going on.”

“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you,” he added. “This segment do this, this segment do that. Sometimes when you sort of ad lib it, and you figure it out as you’re moving the program into the second hour and the third hour, it’s a better show.”

Mad Dog talked about how he likes that his radio show is the reverse of when he does First Take on ESPN or High Heat on MLB Network. He likes not having a rundown packed to the gills for his radio show.

“The radio is more of a host’s medium,” he said. “So it’s up to me what we’re going to do.”

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Sports Radio News

Stetson Bennett IV Fires Back at Steak Shapiro Over Parade Criticism

“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro.”

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Georgia walloped TCU last week to win their second straight national championship, and the Bulldog community came together toward the end of the week to celebrate with a parade.

Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV took part in the parade, but 92.9 The Game host Steak Shapiro wasn’t thrilled with how Bennett acted during the celebration.

Shapiro on Tuesday took a shot at Bennett, who appeared to spend some time fiddling with a cell phone during the parade.

Tuesday night, Bennett responded first with a quote tweet.

Bennett followed that up with a longer statement he posted under his quote tweet explaining the situation.

“I appreciate your concern with my image/intentions/loyalties/obligations (as well as your willingness to reach out to me to confirm them),” Bennett wrote. “You obviously thought quite deeply about some motives I might’ve had.”

Bennett said ultimately he was trying to soak up the moment with his teammates, and he was just trying to make sure the celebratory mood was set with the right music on his phone.

“So to finish it off nice and neat: I was controlling the aux and playing bangers so sed and Chris and I could have a blast on our last ride into Sanford,” he said. “That’s pretty much the gist of it.”

Bennett finished with a little dig of his own at Shapiro.

“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro,” he said. “But to be fair, I’m not a fan of your work either.”

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Sports Radio News

Ryan Edwards Moves to The Sports Zoo on KOA

“Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.”

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Ryan Edwards is staying with KOA, but his hours are about to change. The Denver sports radio staple is moving off of Broncos Country Tonight to join Alfred Williams and Dave Logan on The Sports Zoo in afternoon drive.

“I am thrilled to join radio and football legends Dave Logan and Alfred Williams on The KOA Sports Zoo,” Edwards said in a press release. “I look forward to bringing a fans’ perspective to the Denver Broncos and all things Denver sports.”

Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.

He joined iHeart Denver in 2017. He was on Orange & Blue 760 before the company replaced the station with a conservative talk format. He moved to KOA in 2019, where he has worked on Broncos Country Tonight with Benjamin Albright.

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