Adam Lefkoe on The Awful Announcing Podcast. Adam Lefkoe on The Awful Announcing Podcast.

There have been many unusual newsbreaks over the last few years. But last month’s “CNN Sports” report around Glenn “Doc” Rivers moving from a NBA on ESPN/ABC commentary role to a NBA head coaching role stands out.

One of the first areas the idea of Rivers accepting the Bucks’ job was seen on TV was on the NBA on TNT Tuesday night broadcast. They put that out there well before traditional NBA insiders confirmed it, with even TNT Sports’ Chris Haynes later saying it was not done.

And while Rivers was ultimately confirmed as taking that job, CNN’s aggressiveness on that story drew a lot of questions. But this week, NBA on TNT host Adam Lefkoe discussed that situation with host Brandon Contes on The Awful Announcing Podcast. And Lefkoe said he was confident in the information they had at the time he relayed that to viewers, even with that being unusual considering how Rivers was working for ABC and ESPN at that point.

“I was walking out to set, and the producer got in my ear, and he was like “I have some news, and I was like, ‘Okay?’ And they were like ‘Doc Rivers, they’ve officially offered him the job, or he’s accepted it,’  I think was the wording. So we probably had about two minutes, and I was like ‘Where is this coming from?’ And they’re like ‘CNN,’ and they told me how they got it.

“And [Albert] Scooter Vertino, I do not know his official job [senior vice president, production and programming sports], but he’s like my weathervane of journalist integrity and just like,  morality. And I was able to talk to him really quickly, and he told me the full story. And it came from the source, somebody got it from Doc, okay? And once I heard that and I read some of the emails and I saw some of the chain of command at CNN and the checks and balances that they did…

“Believe me, I am never expecting to go into a TNT Tuesday and break news. At this point, we’ve all been conditioned that it’s either Shams or Woj or Chris Haynes or something. And so, when that happened, and I saw all the background, and they were like ‘Okay, we’re going to credit CNN Sports,’ and I was like ‘Okay.’ Because I know that if it’s not CNN Sports, who’s going to be the person?”

Contes says “You,” and Lefkoe agrees. “And so, we did all the right checks and balances, and this goes back to my news reporting days, that kind of training. But then, to watch the internet the rest of the night, like, I went into Scooter’s office with the producer, and we’re hanging out, and I’m like, ‘Can we reread those emails one more time?’

“Because everybody was like taking pictures of CNN Sports’ website. And the fact that CNN had a primary on that night, they had no other information coming out. And I was DMing with WorldWideWob in the morning, and he didn’t see yet that it had come out everywhere else. And he was so excited. Because it was rare.

“I’ve never wanted to be a newsbreaker, again, Ahmad Rashad. But when it happens, you’ve got to be prepared. So it was a cool experience, it really was.”

The full Awful Announcing Podcast episode with Lefkoe will be released Friday morning.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.