Earlier this month the Sacramento Kings parted ways with their longtime TV announcer Grant Napear, but with the 2019-20 season set to restart, the team announced Gary Gerould will handle television play-by-play responsibilities in the interim.
Gerould, the Kings longtime radio voice will transition to the TV broadcast for the season’s remaining eight games which will begin around July 30 from the NBA bubble in Orlando. Certainly not new to the Kings and their fanbase, the 79-year old Gerould has called 2,769 games for the team’s flagship radio station 1140 KHTK. From 1994-98 he also worked as their TV play-by-play voice.
Napear resigned from his role with the Kings amid controversy for responding to the Black Lives Matter movement with “all lives matter” during a Twitter exchange with NBA center DeMarcus Cousins. In addition to resigning from the Kings, Napear also departed his afternoon radio show on 1140 KHTK. Napear’s former television and radio partner, Doug Christie will continue his analyst role alongside interim TV play-by-play voice Gary Gerould. Gerould and Christie will call the remainder of the 2019-20 season remotely for NBC Sports California.
“I am so pleased to have this opportunity and excited to be alongside Doug to call the team’s return to the court in Orlando,” Gerould said in the press release. “It is an absolute joy to return to the game I love and welcome the challenge of once again calling Kings action on TV. I am grateful to the organization for entrusting me to resume the season and deeply appreciative to all the Kings fans for their tremendous support over the years.”
With Gerould moving to TV for the rest of the 2019-20 season, it creates a void on KHTK’s Kings radio coverage. Replacing the longtime radio voice in the interim will be Jason Ross. Ross has contributed to the Kings radio team for 25 years in various roles, most recently serving as the broadcast’s pre, halftime and postgame host.
The Kings plan to conduct a formal search to find their permanent TV play-by-play announcer prior to the 2020-21 NBA season.
Pablo Torre: Tony Kornheiser Refused To Participate In PTI Doc
“The ESPN Daily host discussed what it was like to interview the two PTI icons.”
Pablo Torre might not be a daily host on Pardon The Interruption, but he is an integral part of the show’s history as it gets set to celebrate 20 years on the air. ESPN’s Bill Hofheimer interviewed Torre ahead of the PTI’s ESPN anniversary special airing on Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Torre is hosting a four-part ESPN Daily series on the pioneering sports debate show all while he continues filling in for Tony Kornheiser or Michael Wilbon whenever they need him to. The ESPN Daily host discussed what it was like to interview the two icons.
“The real TV special I wanted to make is a documentary about trying to convince Tony to participate in this TV special,” Torre told Hofheimer in the interview. “Because Wilbon quickly welcomed me to Chicago, took me around his home and his town, and saw all of this as a party from the jump. Kornheiser — who otherwise could not be more generously supportive of my ambitions and my career and my sanity — legitimately refused to participate, for weeks and weeks, out of a more existential concern that we’ll explain. And that contrast is a perfect encapsulation of both of them.”
Not many ESPN voices have filled in for Wilbon or Kornheiser on PTI, but Torre is honored to be one of them.
“I always, always love doing it. And sometimes it still feels a little surreal that I am, in fact, doing it,” Torre said. “When I talked to our pal Dan Le Batard and asked him what it meant for him to do PTI, in the very beginning, he described it kind of like being knighted. But I suppose that when you’re actually knighted, the Queen of England doesn’t proceed to roast you in front of millions of your countrymen, for years, as a show of affection.”
Torre and the rest of ESPN are ready to show their affection for the PTI story as they celebrate two decades of “Mail Time,” “Five Good Minutes,” and “Happy Trails.”
Mark Jackson: ‘I Look Forward To Coaching Again’
”I look forward to the day that I am coaching again.”
It has been 7 years since Mark Jackson has been a coach in the NBA, but the former Golden State Warriors coach is still waiting on his next chance to lead an NBA team.
The ESPN analyst went on to Club Shay Shay with Shannon Sharpe yesterday to discuss why he is not coaching in the NBA currently despite having some success helping shape the modern Golden State Warriors.
”I don’t know, that’s the full answer I do not know. What I will say is that I look forward to the day that I am coaching again. It will happen, I truly believe that with everything in me.” Mark Jackson said when asked why he did not have a head coaching job.
He also added that he rests on the success that he had with the Golden State Warriors and that it speaks for itself.
Mark Jackson works alongside another former head coach, Jeff Van Gundy, as part of ESPN’s top NBA broadcast, and Jackson believes that Van Gundy also deserves a shot at another coaching job and has been vocal it in past interviews.
“I know if I was hiring, without a doubt Jeff Van Gundy would be my hire. He’s a brilliant basketball mind, an incredible basketball coach. I’m speaking of a guy that sat in a chair and watched him lead a team as my head coach”.
Van Gundy however, has not been as eager to jump back into coaching like Jackson.
ESPN Passing On In Game Ads For Sportsbook Licensing Deal
”What they’ve been leaving on the table is chump change.”
While ESPN is looking aggressively for a licensing deal with a sportsbook, they are certainly playing the slow game on in-game advertisements.
The NFL’s sportsbook partners have already spent $50.7 million on in-game advertising since the beginning of the NFL season on September 9th.
Among those cashing in have been ESPN’s competitors CBS, Fox, and NBC while ESPN has been slow to jump into the action.
According to the commercial-tracking service iSpot.tv, the three broadcast networks have all but maxed out on gambling spots, with each booking the league-mandated maximum of six sportsbook ads per game.
“They’re shopping around for a licensing deal that could bring in as much as $3 billion, so what they’ve been leaving on the table is chump change.” one TV sales vet said of ESPN.
“They don’t want to put themselves in a situation where they have one sportsbook buying a lot of time on Monday night, only to get the exclusive marketing deal done with another book and suddenly face a conflict of interest.” he added.
With a looming licensing deal on the horizon, it seems that ESPN is waiting for said deal to make in-game advertisements come from one sole partner.
In-game advertising is just at the tip of the iceberg, and ESPN is waiting on the big money. Sports gambling is still only the sixth-biggest ad category so it appears that ESPN is choosing to go with the more commonly known ad categories until they get the big deal that they are looking for from sportsbooks.
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