Indiana Fever coach Christie Sides interviewed on ESPN Photo credit: ESPN

Indiana Fever head coach Christie Sides was forced to juggle media and coaching responsibilities for an in-game interview trend on ESPN that needs to change.

During ESPN’s broadcast of Monday night’s matchup between Indiana and the Connecticut Sun, announcers Ryan Ruocco and Rebecca Lobo were tasked with interviewing Sides at the start of the fourth quarter.

With her hands over her ears to block out the crowd noise, Sides fielded questions from ESPN while also attempting to coach her team as Caitlin Clark dribbled the ball up the court. Credit to Sides for battling the elements to answer the questions from Ruocco and Lobo. No one would have faulted Sides for just ignoring the interview the way Becky Hammon did last week, forcing the announcers to fault a noisy arena as the culprit.

But after Hammon’s awkward in-game spot last week, and Sides’ struggle this week, who are these interviews even for? The fans don’t want them as a game overlay, they’d rather just hear the announcers call the action. It must be similarly awkward for Ruocco and Lobo, having to call the game while asking questions that Sides really doesn’t want to answer in that moment.

There’s value in talking to coaches during halftime or even asking a quick question during a TV timeout and replaying that exchange when there’s a break in the action. But coaches aren’t going to offer anything insightful to a broadcast while their team is actively playing. If the coaches don’t want it, the announcers don’t want it, and the fans don’t want it, then why are we forcing these awkward interviews into a game broadcast?

The WNBA is finally making long overdue upgrades to its league with things like charter fights, maybe it’s time to look at the way they conduct in-game interviews on national telecasts.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to