New lineup for ABC/ESPN
Michael Hiestand of USA Today is reporting that ABC/ESPN has finalized the changes in its broadcaster lineup.
Here's what we got:
-Mark Jackson replaces Hubie Brown as the No. 1 ABC analyst, working with Mike Breen.
-Hubie stays on board as the No. 1 analyst on ESPN games with Breen, and as the No. 2 analyst on ABC games, working with Mike Tirico.
-No word yet on how they'll split up the Eastern Conference Finals (on ESPN) and the NBA Finals (on ABC), though a three-man booth is a possibility.
-Recently retired Jon Barry replaces Steve Jones, working with Bill Walton and Mike Tirico on ESPN.
-No word on the other cast of characters, such as Durham and Musburger and Tolbert, so I assume there are no changes.
-As far as pregame shows, Jackson will do Joe Buck-like double duty. It doesn't say here, but I believe that that team is still Dan Patrick, Michael Wilbon and Jackson. Pippen will not be back.
-J. Mashburn, A. Houston, K. Vandeweghe will be studio analysts for ESPN.
Also, here's a smattering of good quotes from the last couple days:
-From Hiestand's column:
"TNT preseason coverage eavesdropped on NBA referee Ron Garretson warning Los Angeles Clippers guard Sam Cassell that refs now want players to be well-mannered when they complain about foul calls and won't tolerate 'gyration.' Later on TNT, Cassell was asked about such gyration: 'I never heard of it, and I speak a lot of jive, too. ... I even went to Russia this year, and I've never heard of that word.'"
-From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
Pat Riley on Dwyane Wade playing in Olympic qualifying next summer:
"I would imagine that it would be in the best interest of him and his body if he would turn it over to Kobe (Bryant) or somebody for next summer. He's done his part. But again, I don't want to speak for him."
This wouldn't be a huge story, as Wade could easily come back for Beijing in '08 even if he skips qualifying next year.
Also, note that Wade, shirtless for the ladies, is on the cover of the new GQ. Story is by Joel Lovell, and there's an excerpt here.
-From the always entertaining Paul Shirley chats on ESPN.com:
Thaddeus (cape cod, MA): What was it like going up against Mark Madsen every day in practice for 3 weeks?
Paul Shirley: A flurry of paleness.
-From the Enemy's Lines notes from an opposing scout, in the Rockets preview in Sports Illustrated:
"The Rockets have so many good citizens that Bonzi Wells will be O.K. It reminds me of the old quote from Al McGuire: You can afford to have one donkey, but you can't have two because then they'll breed."
Al was kinda funny before he turned into the Grandpa Simpson of broadcasting.
-Last word of the day to the Big Fella, courtesy Palm Beach Post:
"There will come a time in my career as a master where a young ninja will take me out. That's just how it happens. If you look at all the karate movies that's how they go. There's one young hungry ninja and he has to beat the guy with the white beard. The old guy with the white beard is the one you have to take out."