ESPN’s NBA studio host Stuart Scott asked analysts Magic Johnson, Michael Wilbon and Jon Barry to each give a “Bold Statement” right before the start of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. To be honest, I wasn’t able to focus on any of their commentary because I was blinded by the three shiny heads that filled my television screen…
Who’s idea was it to execute the segment like that? I didn’t find it at all necessary to have all three of their waxed heads appearing on the screen in that fashion. It was distracting. Instead of listening to their predictions, I chuckled. I saw the word bold, but I also saw bald and well, my sense of humor took over. Sometimes, because of segments like this, I think ESPN doesn’t mind being parodied by programs like SportsDome. Talk about setting yourself up to be made fun of.
Like I said, I didn’t hear a word that any of the guys said when I was first watching, but, after a second viewing, I think it’s safe to say that Johnson and Barry had no idea what their producer was looking for. Their comments were WEAK. The only thing weaker was the way that ESPN stole a page from TNT’s Inside the NBA playbook by showing Johnson, Wilbon, Barry and Scott dressed in farmers gear. I get that they want to loosen up the crew a bit, but they could have been a tad more original. They blatantly copied TNT’s schtick and that’s just lame. The ESPN crew isn’t at all like the TNT crew and ESPN really should avoid venturing into areas that clearly don’t suit the personalities of their talent. Is that too bold of a statement? Well, I’ll let you decide.
Bob Bender writes about the sports media at Press Box Daily and is the Supervisor of Sports Production at Westwood One Radio.