Kevin Harlan calling Jamal Murray's buzzer-beater against Minnesota. Credit: NBA on TNT

We are rapidly reaching the halfway point of 2024, so what better time than now to take a quick look back at what has been one of the wildest years we can ever remember in the sports media industry.

From great calls to insane moments to jaw-dropping rants, there is so much to choose from to spotlight. Although our year end Awfulies will go in way more detail, it’s the summer time. Before we make the turn and head for home, June calls for a fun, random, rapid fire approach to some half-year sports media awards.

MVP – Lee Fitting has transformed WWE television on a nightly basis as lead producer, replacing Kevin Dunn. Fitting and company have replaced dizzying camera cuts with cinematic brilliance and it’s truly insane how it makes WWE so much more watchable and enjoyable.

LVP – Doc Rivers returned to ESPN’s lead NBA broadcasting booth after the network let go of Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy. Reports indicated ESPN was nervous about JVG going back into coaching. Rivers didn’t even last the season before he himself returned to coaching with the Milwaukee Bucks and was eliminated in the first round. Oops.

Biggest Story – The NBA is looking to have a huge increase in rights fees once it finally signs its new TV deals, but longtime partner TNT and Inside the NBA are still on the outside looking in and Charles Barkley is already announcing his retirement.

Biggest WinnerNetflix is finally making a push into live sports with the NFL on Christmas Day in what could be a Rubicon moment for the streamer.

Biggest Loser – If David Zaslav does indeed let the NBA walk away from TNT and Inside the NBA comes to an end, it will be an incomprehensible loss for the industry.

Best Call – It doesn’t get much better in sports or in broadcasting than Kevin Harlan coming face to face with Jamal Murray after an epic half court shot to beat the buzzer.

Best Moment – Maybe it’s recency bias, but Bryson DeChambeau and Johnson Wagner coming together for the perfect viral moment after the US Open was too good to be true.

Worst Moment – Gregg Doyel welcomed Caitlin Clark to the Indiana Fever with a bizarre interaction at a press conference that got him suspended and banned from covering the team in-person this year.

Best Coverage – ESPN’s coverage of Scottie Scheffler’s arrest at the PGA Championship (led by Jeff Darlington in particular) is a reminder of what the network is capable of when it comes to breaking news events.

Worst Coverage – On the other hand, ESPN still has no idea how to cover the NBA Finals after decades at it and need a reboot of what they do in the studio (both with personnel and production) now more than ever.

Shocking Moment – Stephen A. Smith unleashed a 40 minute rant on Jason Whitlock that was truly one of the most surreal things we have ever seen.

Awkward MomentGreg Olsen accepted a Sports Emmy for Best Game Analyst on behalf of Fox Sports just months before he gets demoted in favor of Tom Brady.

Cringe Moment – Pat McAfee’s Caitlin Clark rant was the closest thing the sports media has seen to Chris Farley’s “Kill Whitey!” moment in Black Sheep.

WTF Moment – Any of Aaron Rodgers’ weird offseason podcast appearances could apply here, but we’ll go with the one where he talked about a wild conspiracy about something called Tartaria.

Funniest Moment – CBS’s Champions League coverage is always good for some laughs, none more so than when the network sent a drunk Jamie Carragher to do postgame interviews in Dortmund.

Best Feud – Pat McAfee and longtime ESPN exec Norby Williamson engaged in an episode of Game of Thrones: Bristol that was worthy of the good seasons of the HBO classic, not the last one. McAfee emerged on top while Norby had his own Red Wedding.

Biggest Interruption – Tony Romo stepped all over Jim Nantz’s winning call in overtime of the Super Bowl to talk about whatever the “Andy Reid special” is.

Biggest Diss – Rebecca Lowe hilariously sideswiped Albany, New York in the middle of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament causing an upstate New York incident.

Biggest Smackdown – Monica McNutt achieved the impossible earlier in June. She silenced Stephen A. Smith.

Best Personalities – Andraya Carter, Monica McNutt, Chiney Ogwumike. The trio of ESPN basketball analysts have shined whether talking about men’s or women’s college hoops, the NBA, or the WNBA. Given the increased exposure and attention for women’s basketball, and the new generation of analysts that have arrived, their futures can only be brighter.

The Awful Announcing Wednesday Newsletter is a deep dive into all things sports media with original commentary, highlights from the week, social media buzz, and much more. You can read this and more by subscribing here. We send a recap of what’s been on AA on Monday and Friday mornings as well as the extended original version on Wednesdays.