Sports TV News
Skip Bayless ‘Would Like Nothing Better’ Than to Debate Mark Cuban Again
“The internet wants to see me lose, wants to see me exposed as a know-nothing fraud. The truth was the foolishness was coming from Mark Cuban’s mouth.”
There are not many things that Skip Bayless regrets in his long broadcast career, but there is one thing he would like to try again in the future and that is to have Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban as a guest on the air with him.
On The Skip Bayless Show, he said that back in the 2012 NBA Finals, the producers of First Take booked Cuban as a guest the day after LeBron James won his first NBA Finals with the Miami Heat and he wasn’t too thrilled about it.
“The morning after LeBron’s first ring, live from Miami. A show that I hoped would be epic and would you believe I was not told until our production meeting that morning that a guest had been booked without my knowledge? Mark Cuban had been booked. I was not happy.
“First Take as you probably know is only 2 hours compared to the 2.5 hours for Undisputed. We would need every minute available during a two-hour First Take to cover all the LeBron angles. This was before I had what I guess you would call ‘executive producer’ status on First Take, the final say on guests. We were still relatively new in our new format.”
Bayless did not want Cuban to take too much time on the show and he also did not want him to talk about anything Bayless had written in the past about the Dallas Cowboys.
“I fought back saying Mark Cuban is a slippery egomaniac who could not be trusted. I predicted correctly he would try to hijack our show that morning, which he pretty much did, but the producers considered Cuban an A-List booking. I will give you that. They gently pushed back against me and said ‘Hey, we should just go ahead and have him on for one long segment, a third of the way into the show’. I gave in and I told my man, Stephen A. Smith, I don’t want to go off on any Dallas tangents with Mark Cuban, especially about the three Dallas Cowboys books that I had written. Any other situation, Cuban would have been a great get, but not that day.”
When Cuban was on, Bayless mentioned he tried to say very little and not to engage with him, but then the Mavericks owner talked about how the team did against LeBron in the 2011 NBA Finals and he had to say something. After the interview was over, the producers told Bayless that social media was saying Cuban won the debate:
“By that point in my career, I had quit reading about what Twitter said about me. I was told after the show by our producers that the internet was saying that Mark Cuban kicked my ass, that Mark Cuban made me look foolish. The internet wants to see me lose, wants to see me exposed as a know-nothing fraud. The truth was the foolishness was coming from Mark Cuban’s mouth. I just wasn’t fighting back the way I have at every other point in my career. I didn’t book Mark Cuban. The producers booked Mark Cuban.”
Bayless is looking forward to debating Cuban once again and according to him, he has tried publicly and privately to get him as a guest either on Undisputed or on the podcast.
“A day I have tried again and again to rectify…I would like nothing better than to face Mark Cuban on live TV once more.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Sports TV News
Neil Everett Exits ESPN After 23 Years
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life.”
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.
Sports TV News
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.”
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.
Sports TV News
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.”
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.