Draymond Green has become a force to be reckoned with off the court for all the wrong reasons. At this point, if you’re a major sports fan, you’re probably already aware of Green’s antics at a preseason practice where he punched Warriors teammate Jordan Poole in the face. The incident went viral after a video of the fight was leaked to TMZ.
During Tuesday night’s opening tip-off pregame show on TNT, a new segment titled “The Countdown” featuring Green debuted. The segment is a co-production between Warner Bros. Discovery Sports (Turner Sports’ new convoluted name that reflects the network’s new ownership), Draymond Green’s production company Green 23 and Omaha Productions. The goal of the segment, which will hypothetically air throughout the season, is to take viewers behind the scenes of key moments during Green’s season. It is presumably part of an overall television deal Green signed with TNT last season which includes appearances on “Inside the NBA” and creating content for Bleacher Report and Turner.
The segment took us into Green’s life after his viral fight happened and showed us what his thought process was while he was reportedly “in exile” from the rest of the team. Viewers saw him working out at his home gym during his self-imposed “suspension” and they discovered (no pun intended) that he didn’t find out his sucker punch went viral until the next day because he spends most of his free time playing with his kids.
It is clear Green is interested in becoming a major groundbreaker in media. He’s already begun to blaze that trail as one of the first active NBA players to serve as a television analyst. Green’s deal with TNT has even created a sudden trend at the Worldwide Leader. Active players Danny Green and C.J. McCollum will contribute to ESPN’s NBA programming throughout the season. It’s also clear that he took launching this new endeavor of his that he produced through his own production company very seriously. WBD Sports had input on it and they even brought on Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions, the hottest producers in the sports world and in Hollywood right now. Manning is slowly building a television empire and they haven’t really produced a major dud until now.
“The Countdown” was cheesy at best, forced at worst. Turner (CBS as well) is known for super close up shots with what I call emotional lighting during extremely touching pieces. It’s a strategy that works in evoking emotion during a serious story. The viewer is truly in the face of a story’s subject and sees every crease on their face, every tear that wells up in their eyes and can truly feel every pause that comes within a sentence. It’s a powerful cinematography strategy that works really well. Just not here. Green is not the hero of this story. Green is not the person anyone should be feeling sorry for. He’s not an overcomer or someone who is fighting against obstacles within this specific story. If anything, he’s the villain.
It’s an unfair society but if you’re not as talented as Michael Jordan, no one gives you grace for sucker punching your teammate out of anger and frustration during practice after winning a championship especially when it is videotaped. To be honest, if we had video of Michael Jordan punching Steve Kerr or any of his other teammates during practice, I’m not sure society would be as forgiving of him either. We live in a world today that’s visually impacted. If we hear about it, there might be room to breathe for the guilty party involved after a few days. But if we see it? You’re in a ton of trouble. Especially if you look out of pocket on TMZ of all places. TMZ is society’s walk of shame. Nine times out of ten, you’re not on that website for a good reason.
The dialogue of the narration was also super corny. I don’t want to underestimate how big of a story this was. I don’t want to take away for how much of a bad look this was for Green. But by year’s end, I don’t think it’ll even be on a list of the top five biggest sports stories to happen in 2022. I’m not sure if this is a story we even remember ten years from now if Green’s media trajectory continues the way it’s going and especially if the Warriors win another ring.
When describing the incident, the narrator took major pauses during each sentence saying “sparked by the leak of the video, the incident did blow up. It went viral. It was everywhere. It was front page news. It was discussed. Dissected. And debated around the clock in the sports universe.”
WOAH! RELAX BIG HOMIE! It was a big deal but there are so many other stories that have happened this year in the sports world that deserve that kind of dramatic presentation. I don’t think this incident was one of those. While all of the statements said were true, the tone that came with it makes it sound like it was the biggest story since the United States went to war. The docu-segment didn’t need a narrator at all.
Although we got a little bit inside of Green’s mind, I don’t think we got enough out of him to fully understand why the incident happened, what happened, how it affects the season and where him and Poole truly stand. If he truly wanted to be remorseful on camera beyond what he’s already said during press conferences and whatever he’s told Poole and his team behind the scenes, he should’ve sat down for an interview. He could’ve sat down one-on-one with a Turner journalist like Taylor Rooks, Ernie Johnson, or Chris Haynes. He could’ve sat down one-on-one with an analyst for a “players only” type of discussion.
The best strategy though would’ve been to sit down live from outside the arena with the Inside the NBA crew before the season opener. The interview would’ve happened in front of the fans who will automatically empathize with Green because he’s a Warrior and its ring ceremony night. Ernie would’ve asked the necessary journalistic questions, while the rest of the guys would’ve asked the barber shop questions and related Green’s experience to experiences of their own. They would’ve probably shown a meme or two and Green could’ve finally put the story to rest once and for all. Instead, it’ll live on in corny infamy and probably continue to be a stain on the Warriors’ season if they end up in some sort of slump. Never underestimate the power of the media and conveying a message.
If you’re going to do a docuseries, a docu-segment or whatever this thing is categorized as – you have to really give viewers THE REAL TEA. Reality TV is somewhat scripted but there is a method to the madness. We want to see Green’s mom cussing him out for acting stupid, his wife supporting him, his interactions with other teammates, an interaction with Poole after it happened, his boys roasting him about it, a meeting with a team psychologist or a therapist, Green playing with his kids, Green getting ready to come back to the team in the locker room. The docu-segment has to tell a story from beginning, middle and end.
This segment relied too much on press conference footage, reference footage from other sports shows talking about what happened and not much actual “access.” It is imperative players have a voice and have the ability to express it but this segment is a clear example of what happens when players try to control the narrative too much. Your voice ends up looking extremely inauthentic and your purpose fails. As a player going into media, if you’re not ready to let it all out or let a good portion of the reality out then just don’t let anything out at all because it’ll backfire on you.
The mainstream sports media had its doubts about player-produced media when it first emerged but it has truly had its moments of breakthrough. Mainstream outlets are even helping in the amplification of player-produced media hence the segment we’re discussing here. The Players Tribune’s Netflix documentary on Manti Te’o is critically acclaimed, John Wall’s piece on mental health for the same publication has been shared numerous times on social media and shown as an example of someone dealing with their mental health in a healthy way. Green’s best friend LeBron James hasn’t been afraid to speak his mind on Springhill’s The Shop, and who can forget the impact of Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance which sports networks and websites covered like it was a sport of its own (partly due to the pandemic).
When you hide stuff, you’re not fully transparent, there’s not much you’re overcoming or apologetic about and you’re the hero of every story you tell like Tom Brady, Derek Jeter and Green’s project with Omaha – you’re not going to gain any new fans and you just might turn people away from you even more.
Jessie Karangu is a columnist for BSM and graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland but comes from Kenyan roots. Jessie has had a passion for sports media and the world of television since he was a child. His career has included stints with USA Today, Tegna, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Sightline Media. He can be found on Twitter @JMKTVShow.
Doug Gottlieb: Nobody Cares About World Cup Once USA’s Eliminated
“I’m sure people in the soccer world are still talking about the World Cup. But zero people I know in real life are talking about the World Cup today.”
The United States has been eliminated from the 2022 World Cup, and FOX Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb believes that will return the sport back to its usual place inside the sports media landscape.
“I’m sure people in the soccer world are still talking about the World Cup,” Gottlieb said on his In The Bonus podcast Monday. “But zero people I know in real life are talking about the World Cup today.
“You can tell me how big soccer is in the world — and I’m not gonna dispute it — and you can tell me we’re doing better in the world than we’ve ever done — and I’m not gonna dispute it, it’s fine — but the fact is that as soon as that match was over we went from a couple of hours of soccer guy, or writer guy who’s really a soccer guy at heart, talking about should we change coaches, tactics, players, or whatever, and then it’s over. I don’t know who won and I don’t care.”
Gottlieb later added that soccer has been “the sport of the future” for his entire life, but added that college basketball is going on right now, and it isn’t on the national sports radar, either.
Jon Marks Working Without At Contract at WIP
WIP is currently in the midst of changes to its lineup due to the upcoming departure of legendary morning host Angelo Cataldi.
94WIP afternoon host Jon Marks has revealed he is working without a contract.
A report from CrossingBroad.com claims Marks mentioned the development on the air two weeks ago, and Marks confirmed the news when the outlet asked him for comment.
He did not, however, wish to say much more about the situation. WIP is currently in the midst of changes to its lineup due to the upcoming departure of legendary morning host Angelo Cataldi.
In late October, the station announced the current midday show of Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie would replace Cataldi in the mornings. Longtime morning co-host Al Morganti will remain with the station but will no longer be heard in mornings once DeCamara and Ritchie take over. Anchor Rhea Hughes will stay in the morning timeslot.
The station has yet to name a new midday show to replace DeCamara and Ritchie. Marks is currently teamed with former NFL linebacker Ike Reese from 2:00-6:00 PM. The two were paired together in 2017.
Boomer Esiason Wonders If Joe Buck Was Criticized Before Energetic Monday Night Football Open
“Maybe he was doing that emphatically because somebody criticized him as flat or something.”
Monday Night Football got off to an energetic start last night, with the usually reserved Joe Buck showcasing an exuberant attitude while discussing the weather and the fact that the calendar has already flipped to December. WFAN morning host Boomer Esiason wondered if there was an ulterior motive to Buck’s raucous start.
In addition to the energy exuded by the Monday Night Football announcer, Buck nearly howeld in excitement as the network showcased Tom Brady’s usual scream of “Let’s F—ing Go!”, by shouting “Yeah! Let’s go! I can’t say one of those words!”
The excitement was noticed by Boomer & Gio update anchor Jerry Recco who played the audio for the show, with Boomer Esiason wondering if Buck was proving a point to someone.
“Maybe somebody told him he was too downcast the previous broadcast,” Esiason wondered. “Maybe he was doing that emphatically because somebody criticized him as flat or something.”