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Bill Simmons: Kendrick Perkins, JJ Redick NBA MVP Discussion ‘Toxic’

“It was terrible. I hated it. And this is not why I became a sports fan.”

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The confrontation between JJ Redick and Kendrick Perkins raised several eyebrows last week. Add Bill Simmons to the list of folks who did not enjoy the conversation.

During a First Take discussion, Perkins insinuated that there are racial motives behind NBA MVP votes due to the majority of voters being white, Redick responded by saying “What we just witnessed is the problem with this show where we create narratives that do not exist in reality.”

“I stated the facts,” Perkins shouted at Redick, “and you not about to sit up here and act like there’s something more than that.”

Perkins — who never explicitly said the any NBA players received the MVP due to being white — did state ask viewers to consider what Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, and Nikola Jokic “have in common” while pointing out that 80% of MVP voters are white. First Take host Molly Qerim pushed back on that encapsulation the following day, clarifying that voting panel is more diverse than what Perkins presented.

On The Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons discussed the NBA MVP voting, saying that two players will eventually separate themselves, and one will get more votes than the other. However, he then turned his attention to the discussion surrounding the debate, noting he did not enjoy the conversation.

“This stuff’s supposed to be fun,” Simmons said. “And this week was not fun. It was toxic. It was terrible. I hated it. And this is not why I became a sports fan.”

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Sports Online

Blue Wire Adding Podcasts Cut During SB Nation Downsizing

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Blue Wire

Blue Wire has announced it is adding three NBA podcasts that were cut during a downsizing by Vox Media that hit SB Nation earlier this year.

Lakers Lounge, hosted by Anthony Irwin, Green With Envy, hosted by Will Weir, Greg Maneikis, and Adam Taylor, and Pod Maverick with Kirk Henderson are all being revived with Blue Wire.

“We’ve built Blue Wire around being able to identify exceptional talent hitting the podcast free agency market,” said Blue Wire CEO Kevin Jones. “We were thrilled to act quickly and provide a new home for three standout local NBA podcasts.”

“I’ve known Kevin for years and we’ve often spoken about working together,” Irwin said. “I couldn’t possibly be more excited to add to all the great work Blue Wire has become known for as we finally see years of conversations become a fruitful partnership.” 

The former SB Nation programs that follow the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Dallas Mavericks, respectively, were able to negotiate the ownership of their podcasts with Vox, allowing them to bring their former feeds with them to Blue Wire.

The addition of the three podcasts adds to the company’s growing list of NBA shows. Currently, Blue Wire hosts Road Trippin’ with Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, and No Chill with Gilbert Arenas, among others.

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Sports Online

Rob Parker Bringing MLBBro.com Podcast To iHeartRadio

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking project – this sound has never been heard before in connection with Major League Baseball.”

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Rob Parker loves Major League Baseball and he is expanding his reach in the sport. His site MLBBro.com is taking another step forward just weeks after announcing a partnership with the league to provide coverage of minority players from the past and present.

He will add a podcast to the brand’s portfolio. The MLBBro Show Podcast – The Mixtape will join the iHeartRadio podcast lineup. While Parker oversees the brand, the show will be led by MLBbro.com’s Vice President of Operations JR Gamble.

Gamble brings more than two decades of experience covering the league to the show. The first episode drops right after Opening Day on March 31.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking project – this sound has never been heard before in connection with Major League Baseball,” said Parker, who has been a Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) member since 1990.

“It’s baseball coverage with hot sauce, loud and proud and in living color. Get on board from day one!”

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Sports Online

What Implications Would TikTok Ban Have on Sports Media & Business?

“Prominent Democrats have spoken out against banning TikTok in the United States, but the effort has bipartisan support.”

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If TikTok is banned in the United States, a very realistic possibility, the ad market around sports and sports media stands to take a significant hit. Front Office Sports took a look at the companies that used the social video platform to advertise to sports audiences in 2022 and 2023.

Among the advertisers making major investments in TikTok was Degree, whose March Madness advertising campaign includes an ad that is exclusive to TikTok and stars Giannis Antetokounmpo. For the Super Bowl, T-Mobile supplemented its FOX ad buy with a TikTok campaign, while State Farm chose to skip the network broadcast of the game and spend all of its advertising with the digital platform.

It’s not only advertisers. Leagues and networks factor TikTok prominently into reaching younger audiences. The WWE, FIFA and the NBA all saw significant growth in their audiences on the app last year. On top of that, FOX and ESPN both have taken advertising money from TikTok in the past for postseason baseball and college football broadcasts respectively.

Prominent Democrats have spoken out against banning TikTok in the United States, but the effort has bipartisan support. The Biden administration and other lawmakers have voiced concern about the security threat the Chinese government’s involvement with the app poses to Americans and their personal data.

The appeal of TikTok for networks and advertisers is easy to see. Between 2021 and 2022, no social media platform showed more growth for engagement from sports fans. TikTok’s sports audience jumped 65% in that timeframe. Facebook saw 22% growth and for Twitter, it was just 8%.

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