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Richard Jefferson: ‘I Hate First Take’ Because ‘I’m Not Good At It’

“The show is amazing. I’m just not good at that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Richard Jefferson

This season, Richard Jefferson and JJ Redick have worked together on NBA games as analysts with Ryan Ruocco calling the action for ESPN. It’s been a different media journey for Jefferson compared to other retired athletes.

Jefferson was a guest on The Old Man and the Three podcast with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter and he said right before he retired from the NBA, he was encouraged by Gerry Matalon, who was the senior coordinating producer in charge of talent at ESPN, to keep getting reps behind the microphone:

“I started doing tons of it. That’s where my podcast, Road Trippin’, started because I was like ‘how do I get more reps behind the mic and get more comfortable?’.

“When I retired, I said I wanted to work for everybody. I worked for the Pac-12, CBS, ESPN, YES Network. Anybody that would have me on, I said yes to. Then, slowly and surely, I started to build up a little bit of rhythm.”

When Jefferson is not an analyst on Nets broadcasts on YES, you find him on ESPN either calling a game or as part of the panel on NBA Today. Even though there are sports shows that have gone mainly to debate formats, Jefferson said that those shows aren’t his thing unlike Redick who has excelled on First Take:

“You get after people on First Take in a great way. I love it. That’s why I think people are starting to see how intelligent and prepared you are, which I love,” Jefferson said to Redick. “I hate First Take. The show is amazing. I’m just not good at that… I’m not great at the debate show style like you, Stephen A, Kendrick Perkins, Ryan Clark. You guys are great at it. That’s not my thing.” 

During this conversation, Redick mentioned that he hears from people that he always thinks he is right on every topic he debates and he wanted to make it clear that’s not always the case.

“There are many days on First Take or even on the podcast where I’ll say something and I’ll think about it. I’m self-critical. I’ll think about it and be like I think  I was wrong about that, I could have done it a different way. I don’t always think I am right.” 

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Neil Everett Exits ESPN After 23 Years

“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life.”

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Courtesy: NBAE via Getty Images

Neil Everett’s SportsCenter days are over. Front Office Sports reports that the anchor has chosen to say goodbye to ESPN after 23 years at the network.

“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life,” Everett said. “Time to write a new chapter.” 

The network reportedly offered Everett a new deal. Had he agreed to it, the anchor would have taken a salary reduction.

This is a significant moment for SportsCenter. Everett moving on means one of the show’s longest-tenured partnership comes to an end. He had worked with Stan Verrett since 2009.

Everett’s exit comes in the same week that it was revealed Chris Chelios would not return to the network’s NHL coverage next season. The Walt Disney Company is currently in the middle of trying to cut 7000 jobs to save $5.5 billion.

As for the future, Everett says he will seek to increase his TV role with the Portland Trail Blazers. He has been part of the team’s broadcast crew on NBC Sports Northwest for the last two years.

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Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica To Make FOX TV Debut on Belmont Coverage

“Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”

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Courtesy: KFSM

As the college football season was winding down, fans found out one of the foundational members of the College Gameday staff would be leaving ESPN. Chris “The Bear” Fallica left the network and has been working for FOX since the new year. This weekend during the network’s coverage of The Belmont Stakes, he will finally make his TV debut for his employers.

“It’s been great. This will be my first TV appearance, so I’m excited,” Fallica said in an interview with FOXSports.com. “But we’ve been cranking out content on the digital side since January, and I’m very happy with how the USFL picks have been going (4-0 last week for those of you counting at home). Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”

Fallica, who worked for ESPN for nearly three decades, is going to be a major presence in FOX’s gambling content both on air and online. Making picks is nothing new. He had been doing it on College GameDay for years prior to his exit. 

In addition to making football picks, horse racing is going to be a major part of what The Bear does for FOX. While this will be his TV debut on FOX, Fallica put the spotlight on one of his colleagues.

“It was a great decision to bring Tom [Durkin] back for this call. His voice is synonymous with the sport for a generation of racing fans, so it will be a treat to hear him call a race again.”

Durbin is coming out of retirement to call the race. This is the first year that the Belmont is airing on FOX as part of a rights deal with the New York Racing Association.

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FOX Reportedly Considering Replacing Reggie Bush on Big Noon Kickoff

“Marchand writes that the favorite to replace the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram II is expected to retire from the NFL and join FOX.”

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Courtesy: Getty Images

It looks like changes are coming to FOX’s college football coverage. Andrew Marchand reports that the network is considering replacing Reggie Bush on Big Noon Kickoff.

Bush and the network reportedly argued over money before the 2022 season. FOX kicked the tires on multiple options, including Desmond Howard and Robert Griffin III of ESPN. Eventually, it decided to bring Bush back on a one year deal. With that deal set to expire and the two sides again at an impasse, FOX is eyeing other options.

Marchand writes that the favorite to replace the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram II is expected to retire from the NFL and join FOX.

If Ingram does join the show, he would be the first analyst from outside of the conferences FOX carries. Ingram played his college football at Alabama. He has since amassed more than 8000 yards over 13 seasons in the NFL.

FOX declined to comment on the report. Marchand reports that with no deal finalized, there is an outside shot that Ingram returns to the NFL, Bush returns to FOX and there is no change at all. That, however, is considered a long shot.

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