Months after losing two jobs over a Twitter exchange with former Kings’ big man Boogie Cousins, Grant Napear is getting his voice back out there. The former Sacramento Kings’ television play-by-play man has launched a podcast called If You Don’t Like That.
“The one thing that has bothered me more than anything over the last three months is that I did not get a chance to speak to all of the fans, all of the people of Northern California, and those that have picked up on my career through hosting as a fill-in on ‘The Jim Rome Show,'” Napear said on the show’s debut episode. “And to those people who have been waiting for me to speak, I’m going to speak now and you’re going to hear what I have to say.”
Napear bemoaned cancel culture and hit on some familiar talking points about social initiatives driving fans away from sports. He also noted that he has been around the country in the last few months and has had conversations average fans that drive those points home.
“Now I’ve always said this. I said if you start bringing politics and social issues into sports, you’re going to lose a lot of fans. You’re going to lose a lot of fans. And there is no question in my mind the ratings have reflected that with the NBA. We saw the opening weekend of the National Football League. Fans are saying they don’t want it anymore.”
Grant Napear was terminated by both the Kings and by Bonneville’s KHTK in May after tweeting the phrase “ALL LIVES MATTER” in response to a question from Cousins about how he felt about the Black Lives Matter movement. “The social media exchange followed a weekend of unrest across the United States after George Floyd died during an encounter with Minneapolis police,” writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.
It doesn’t seem to be the tweet itself though that was the source of Napear’s demise. Former Kings joined Cousins in expressing a lack of surprise that that would be Napear’s reaction, with Matt Barnes going so far as to call the team’s play-by-play man for the previous 32 seasons “a closet racist.”
Napear said on the first episode of If You Don’t Like That that he is confident that controversies like the one surrounding him have no place in sports. He says it “pains” him to see leagues and athletes embracing politics.
“I know what I believe in. I believe that the fans of America have spoken, and I firmly believe they do not want political and social statements made at their games. I’ve talked to too many people. I’ve talked to too many people that have handed in their basketball tickets. I’ve talked to too many people who have said they are not going to any more games.”
David Letterman Questions Kevin Durant At Nets Media Days
“Letterman is an Indianapolis, IN, native, leaving plenty of questions surrounding his involvement in Nets Media Day.”
NBA Media Days are happening throughout the country, and the Brooklyn Nets had a famous visitor come and crash the party. David Letterman made himself right at home in press row, asking Kevin Durant some obvious and not so obvious questions.
The Nets star player didn’t give any tells as to whether he recognized Letterman or not, but he did answer the questions. Letterman hit him with a hard-hitter off the top, asking the forward why people call him “KD.”
“My first name is Kevin, with a K, and my last name is Durant, with a D,” Durant responded with an emotionless face. Letterman took a shot at a typical press conference question, asking Durant what percent effort he is giving in 2021.
“One hundred and 10,” Durant quipped back. David Letterman then asked the forward if he could play for the New York Knicks on his off days.
“Kevin, I just got off the phone with the Dolan Family,” Letterman began. “They said they are talking to the commissioner now, they’re looking at working a contractual deal that will allow you to, when you’re not playing for the Nets… you’ll be able to play for the Knicks. Comments?”
“Alright Dave,” Durant answered. “That was the last one.”
Durant almost made it through the ordeal without cracking a smile, but then the Pelicans came up.
“What about the Pelicans?” David Letterman asked. “When you guys play the Pelicans, does it kind of make you giggle?”
Durant chuckled as he responded, “yeah.”
Letterman announced himself as “Dave from Basketball Digest.” The publication actually existed from 1977-2005 but hasn’t been published in almost two decades.
The entertainer retired from The Late Show with David Letterman in 2015. He has since been hosting My Next Guest Needs No Introduction on Netflix.
Bob Chapek: ESPN Will Be ‘More Aggressive In Sports Betting’
It seems it is only a matter of time until Disney will partner with a major sportsbook on a licensing deal.
Disney is slowly dipping their foot into the sports betting industry. Disney’s ESPN has been making sports betting a far bigger topic in their programming, launching a variety of shows focused on sports betting including The Daily Wager and ESPN Bet.
Along with this, ESPN promoted executive Mike Morrison to Vice President of sports betting and fantasy for the company. It seems it is only a matter of time until Disney will partner with a major sportsbook on a licensing deal, as they have already met with Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings to discuss a partnership.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek recently said at a Goldman Sachs investor conference that the company will be ”more aggressive in sports betting” by exploring a partnership deal for the company.
Sources previously told Front Office Sports that ”Everything is on the table” for ESPN to generate revenue in the sports betting industry.
ESPN is reportedly seeking around $3 Billion in a multiyear deal to attach its name to an existing sportsbook. Sports Illustrated struck a deal along those lines recently partnering with 888 Holdings.
With the CEO himself backing up reports that ESPN is very interested to dive head first into sports betting, it seems inevitable that viewers will soon be able to place wagers with ESPN having some sort of stake in it.
Perry Michael Simon Upped To SVP/Editor-In-Chief At All Access
“Simon has been part of the industry site for 24 years.”
Perry Michael Simon has a new job title at All Access. He is now the SVP/Editor-In-Chief, News/Talk/Sports/Podcasting Editor.
Simon has been part of the industry site for 24 years. He has attended many conferences, interviewed many leaders and broadcasters, and processed and reported a lot of information in that time. The promotion is well-deserved.
“I’m looking forward to building on All Access‘ tradition of being the most complete and accurate source of information about the radio, music, podcasting and associated industries, Perry Michael Simon said in a press release. “I’m grateful to Joel for his confidence in me and for granting me my wish of having a title that’s too long for a business card, and I promise that I will keep the Philadelphia sports references to a reasonable amount.”
Prior to joining All Access, Simon programmed New Jersey 101.5 in the Philadelphia area and KLSX in Los Angeles. He also served as an on-air host and operations manager at what used to be Y107 in Los Angeles. The station flipped from modern rock to Spanish hits shortly after his exit in the late 90s.
In the publishing world, All Access isn’t the only place Perry Michael Simon has enjoyed success. He spent six years overseeing Nerdist as the site’s Editor-In-Chief.
“Perry’s leadership and creativity will continue our growth of 26 years in serving the ever-expanding radio/audio, music/streaming, podcasting and social media industries and their many platforms with the very best information served up on-demand on the AllAccess.com site, mobile, email and associated social media platforms,” the site’s President and Publisher Joel Denver added.
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