On Monday, ESPN’s First Take teased a segment on the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Dream Team, but it was scrapped for commercials without explanation.
Towards the end of Monday’s show, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and Ryan Clark were debating New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas. The segment went long as Russo attempted to defend his credentials as a Heisman Trophy voter, and Clark warned the legendary sports radio host against raising his voice.
“Mad Dog, you’re gonna stop screaming at me, bro,” Clark told Russo during the debate. “That’s the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me. Lower your voice.”
With the debate running until around 11:55am EST on a show that ends at noon, First Take host Molly Qerim interrupted the heated exchange to end the segment. “This is when all the fans at home hate me,” Qerim said. “Because they’re gonna see this clip on YouTube and be like ‘Molly, this was the hottest part of the show and you cut it off.’ But we really have to go to break.”
Before taking First Take into a commercial break, Qerim teased the show’s next and final segment. “Coming up, it’s the 30th Anniversary of the Dream Team taking home gold in the ’92 Olympics. Were Jordan, Magic and Bird the greatest team in sports history? We’ll debate it.”
More than four minutes of commercials followed the Dream Team teaser with First Take returning from break right at noon, which is when SportsCenter is scheduled to begin.
“Well, this has been really fun,” Qerim said as she ended First Take immediately after it returned from commercial break without a second mention of the ’92 Dream Team’s 30th anniversary.
The lost Dream Team segment meant Russo and Clark never spoke on air after their off-the-rails Michael Thomas debate. That made it hard to decipher if there was any real angst or fallout from the heated exchange.
Considering the lack of attention this received on social media, it’s fair to assume there weren’t many basketball fans or First Take viewers sitting at home clamoring to hear Russo break down the Dream Team with Courtney Cronin and/or Clark. But teasing a debate before break, only to return from commercial and never mention the expected segment again was strange, especially considering it was quietly scrapped after the testy exchange between Russo and Clark.