Adam Lefkoe has reached a new three-year extension with Bleacher Report, and as part of that, he’ll be hosting NBA on TNT Tuesdays with Shaq, Dwyane Wade and Candace Parker. Lefkoe spoke to Awful Announcing earlier this week, and said he’s still adjusting to the reality of being part of the NBA on TNT coverage he’s long admired.
“Mind blown. I think The NBA on TNT has been a show that I’ve watched my entire life, and I’ve kind of studied it and I’ve enjoyed it. To be asked to be a part of it, and to sit at that set where so much magic has been made, and to be alongside Shaq and Wade and Candace Parker, it’s very dreamlike. In this business there’s not a lot of jobs where people want to pace themselves, but this feels like it.”
Lefkoe has done a lot of different things over his time at Bleacher Report, including Simms and Lefkoe, The Lefkoe Show, The Match, and the Ditch The Playbook NFL show. And he’ll continue to do B/R work under this new deal as well. But he said the NBA has always been a particular passion for him, which makes this a perfect opportunity.
“For me, the beautiful part about working at Bleacher Report for now six years is I’ve really done every sport all the years. The last few years, it’s been more NFL-centric, but I’m a massive NBA fan. The amount of group texts that I’m on right now…whether it’s Sixers-related content or NBA [in general], I’m obsessed with the league. And in this industry, it’s so nice to be able to have multiple interests, but undoubtedly when you get a call for a show like this, it quickly becomes your main focus. So believe me, I’m asking [Bleacher Report writer/podcaster] Howard Beck plenty of questions right now.”
Lefkoe said getting to cover the NBA is also a great opportunity given the excitement around that league.
“If you were to come to the Bleacher Report office after a big game and see all the young guys and women that I work with and hear the excitement when we talk about the NBA, I really believe right now it’s a league that is unmatched in terms of excitement and growth. We talked before about my show Ditch The Playbook, where I thought I wanted to “NBAify” the NFL, because I wanted to really add to the characters in the NFL. In the NBA, it’s less building and more celebrating.”
“For me, it’s this beautiful thing where I would spend my free time watching NBA games because it was a joy. I always looked at the NFL as my job. And now that I get to turn that joy into a career, it’s pretty special.”
While Lefkoe’s been at B/R for the last six years, he’s had some chances to do TV work there, and his background from before that is in local TV (including at ABC affiliate WHAS in Louisville, where he first got on our radar for working 31 wrestlers’ names into a sportscast back in 2013). He said he’s hoping to combine his TV and digital experience in this new role.
“Doing The Match, sitting next to Samuel L. Jackson, that was more of a traditional broadcast. Turner asked me last year to do play-by-play of the Rising Stars game with Danny Green and Frank Kaminsky. And my background is such traditional television. It’s funny how I’m kind of qualified; I got the Emmys from local news and the AP awards, and I’m very used to rundown and that traditional makeup.”
“For me, though, it’s how do I bring what I’ve learned in digital and add it to a traditional broadcast, how do we make moments, how do we take the style of an online broadcast, which is more community-building and more about reacting to engagement, and work with the people at TNT and Turner, who are so great at what they do, to even change that up a little bit. I think it’s definitely going to be an adaptation; at the same time, I think it could be an evolution.”