On Sunday’s opening day of the Big 3 basketball league, airing Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1, Michael Rapaport was the sideline reporter during the proceedings, alongside broadcasters Gus Johnson and Jim Jackson.

Sunday concluded a big week for Rapaport, following his announcement last Monday that he and his podcast “I Am Rapaport” will be moving to Barstool Sports.

During Sunday’s event, Rapaport spoke with Awful Announcing about the Big 3, his partnership with Barstool and his appearance in a 1997 Jay-Z music video.

What do you think of the Big 3 so far?

I think it’s great. The competition is great, the crowd loves it. And it’s very, very competitive basketball. And the thing that I’ve noticed so far is the isolation. You’re able to see the [one-on-one] moves a little bit more, because it’s so spread out. The competition is very, very high.

It kind of brings you back to the 90’s here in New York with the Knicks.

90’s here in New York. A lot of star power, and I think we’re on to something good here.

This is your first full day of sideline reporting for the Big 3. How’s it been so far?

I’m having a ball doing the sideline reporting. I had to get over my star-struck Dr. J [Julius Erving] stuff, but we got that interview out of the way and the next time we do an interview, we’re going to get more in-depth into the making of The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.

What’s working with Barstool been like since you officially partnered up with them last week?

I’m so happy to be working with Barstool. It’s just beginning. I just can’t wait, and I’m looking forward to everything we do.

How’d you get approached by Big 3 and Fox to do sideline reporting and how were you approached by Barstool Sports?

Ice Cube. I’ve known Ice Cube, I’ve worked with Ice Cube in Higher Learning and Next Friday. And he reached out to me, and it was “where and when?” It was [yes] no questions asked.

With Barstool, I’ve been a fan of theirs, I’ve been doing their stuff, their podcasts. I like them, I like their mentality. And I like that they don’t take no shit, and they let me do my thing.

Last question. You played a cop in the 1997 music video for Jay-Z’s “Heart Of The City.” How’d that happen?

I got approached for that video by Dame Dash, who I grew up with, I know him. And obviously I was a fan of Jay-Z. I’m a sort of “where and when” type of guy. I was a fan from the beginning.


Jay Z feat Blackstreet – The city is mine by michelgonzag

About Shlomo Sprung

Shlomo Sprung is a writer and columnist for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He's also a baseball contributor for Sporting News and the web editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in NYC. A 2011 graduate of Columbia University’s Journalism School, he has previously worked for the New York Knicks, Business Insider and other publications. You should follow him on Twitter.