CBS Sports Network’s That Other Pregame Show adds former NFL All-Pro players Thomas Davis and Kyle Long as studio commentators.
That Other Pregame Show (TOPS) enters its tenth season with Adam Schein and Amy Trask hosting. Alongside Davis and Long, TOPS has added veteran NFL correspondent Aditi Kinkhabwala as an on-site reporter.
Long returns to TOPS after being an analyst for the show in 2020 but left to return to football for his final season in 2021 with the Kansas City Chiefs.
TOPS also sees the return of Brock Vereen, NFL Insider Jonathan Jones for analyst work. The show also will drop fantasy knowledge from Jeff Ratcliffe and Keith Irizarry. TOPS also gets drop-ins from The NFL Today analysts Nate Burleson, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms.
JJ Redick Gets New Contract, New Role At ESPN
“The deal comes after Turner had expressed interest in luring him away from Bristol.”
Basketball fans will see a lot more of JJ Redick on ESPN when the new NBA season begins. The journeyman guard debuted at the network last year and while he made a big impression, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that Redick’s role is about to get a lot more substantial.
ESPN has signed JJ Redick to a three-year contract extension. The deal comes after Turner had expressed interest in luring him away from Bristol.
The new deal will see Redick leaving the studio to be a game analyst. He will partner with Richard Jefferson in a three-man booth. Who will handle play-by-play is yet to be decided, but ESPN executives reportedly want to build around the chemistry Redick and Jefferson have shown.
He will also be part of the network’s NBA Draft coverage. Specific duties for that broadcast are yet-to-be-announced.
Finally, ESPN is making sure that JJ Redick continues to create viral moments for First Take. The new deal stipulates that Redick remains part of the regular rotation of analysts joining Stephen A. Smith, Molly Qerim and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, but no specific schedule was outlined in Marchand’s reporting.
Pedro Martinez: ‘Never Imagined’ TV Career
“And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.”
As the Major League Baseball season comes to a close and preparations for the playoffs begin, MLB Network and TNT analyst Pedro Martinez joined The Press Box podcast to discuss his time as a television analyst.
When asked what he liked about working in television, Martinez didn’t hesitate with his answer.
“I think it’s a platform and the opportunity I have to bring to the audience what I know, what I think, what I understand and broadcasting gives me the opportunity to continue to have that communication with the people, the young athletes and fans. At the same time, I’m able to continue to learn and transmit some of the things that I would love to show everybody by playing but my body doesn’t allow me, but my mind does.
“This is a great way to bring the right information to the people, but I take advantage of the platform to communicate with my fanbase, the player’s fanbase, and the voice behind the players and the situations that come up, I can actually teach the audience some of the things that I understand from my point of view.”
A media career was never in the cards for Martinez. At least that’s what he thought during his playing career.
“I swear to god, it’s the only thing I never imagined. I never thought I would like being in front of a camera,” Martinez said. “And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.
“You learn so much just by having access to information, having access to so many other different things. A lot of people would be surprised how much you can dig into and I think for everybody else, if they knew the kind of information we have access to, they’d be intrigued to come do what we do.”
He then said one of the things he would have never picked up on was how many pitchers tip their pitches, but due to all of the information, video, and relationships broadcasters have make that information readily available. He added his work in television has enabled more relationships with baseball players from his home country, the Dominican Republic.
Stephen A. Smith and Malika Andrews Get Heated Over Ime Udoka Coverage
“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”
On Friday’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith continued his stance regarding the public leaking of information surrounding Celtics’ Head Coach Ime Udoka relationship with a team staffer. He also went further by sharing his dismay that Udoka was seemingly the only person punished for the violation of company policy.
“Only he is in violation of the company policy?” Smith asked. “The woman who elected to have a consensual relationship with him is not in violation?”
Before the end of the show, ESPN NBA Today host Malika Andrews called in the program and wanted to address Smith’s comments.
“Stephen A., with all do respect, this is not about pointing the finger. Stop,” Andrews said. “The fact that we are sitting here debating whether somebody else should have been suspended or not, we are not here, Stephen A., to further blame women.”
Smith would replay saying that his intention was not blame anyone outside of the Celtics coach.
“First of all, let me be very clear, I don’t appreciate where you’re going with that, I’m not blaming anybody but Ime Udoka,” Smith stated. “The fact of the matter is, he deserves to be fired if they were going to fire him. If you’re not going to fire him, then don’t fire him. My issue is all of this being publicized.”
Andrews tried to jump back in for further commentary but Smith stopped that and noted he didn’t appreciate being interrupted on “my show”.
Andrews did thank Smith for clarifying his stance at the end of the segment. ESPN has removed access to the video from its YouTube channel by making it private.