NBA, ESPN pushing viewers to focus on the games of chance and not the Finals


Consider where we have come and what we are doing here.

So the network boss calls his top sports commentators for an important meeting. He or she walks to the center of the stage, adjusts the microphone, and then speaks:

“I have a very exciting announcement to make today, and I wanted you, our most visible, well-known and even appreciated employees, to be among the first to know.


“We have purchased a significant stake in a sports betting operation. This business, now also our business, has one objective: to do whatever it is, even make false promises to get rich overnight, so that our customers lose their money investing in this business.

“This entire enterprise that we now share is based solely on the public losing their money by being misled into believing they can make money. And now we have a piece of this money cake!

“So let’s hear a round of applause for this proud addition to our network inventory, a testament to our foresight and financial acumen to strike while it’s hot…

“Now your job, as the faces and voices of our network, is to encourage viewers and listeners, especially those who admire and trust you, to serve as the most striking men and women, to excite so many. as possible to participate. losing their money betting on games and players, all odds, of course, very much in our favor.

Stephen A. Smith, Mike Greenberg, Michael Wilbon and Jalen Rose in the NBA countdown to the NBA Finals.
NBAE via Getty Images

“I see a hand raised over there. Yes?”

“But isn’t this a scam and why do you want us to be a part of it?”

“Scam? You’re welcome! Scams have a way of failing, leading to criminal charges. This one is better; this is government-sanctioned no-fault theft, legalized scam.”

“Another question, back there.”

“What if we request to be excluded from participating in such a business, you know, on moral grounds? Does not pass the smell test.

“Neither is the lunch we are serving, but should I cancel it?

“Furthermore, disloyalty to the corporation is your choice, but it carries risks, personal risks, if you know what I mean.

“Any more questions? Well, well. Now come out and sell loss investments. Ah, and emphasize Parlay bets, they have the worst chances and really excite the youngest fools, such as television ads with caps to the caps to the backwards. Do you understand?

“Lunch is served.”

And so on Thursday night, just before Game 6, which became the last game of the 2022 NBA Finals, announced on ABC/ESPN, two gambling segments appeared, both launching DraftKings, a commercial partner of the NBA and ESPN. The NBA and ESPN sold their souls, credibility, logos, and certification for their share of guaranteed game losses.

The second segment began with Mike Greenberg setting up Jalen Rose with, “Now it’s time for tonight’s DraftkKings Sportsbook predictions, Jalen.”

The two ESPN regulars then focused on three prop bets, one for each of the three Celtics or Warriors starters. It was unclear if these were the same numbers above or below published by DraftKings.

The Warriors celebrate winning the NBA championship.
access point

But this was very clear:

Moments before the end of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the audience was encouraged not to watch the game, but to watch its action by focusing on three players. The game, the biggest of the season, became a sideshow with considerable help from Greenberg and Rose. Without shame, without fail.

Apparently, neither of them had the ability or the conviction to reject this, to declare to their bosses that they refuse to be complicit in urging viewers to waste their money chasing easy money. And they are just two of the dozens that populate television and radio.

“And during the Finals,” Greenberg joked, “New customers can wager $5 to win up to $150 in free bets, instantly!” As he spoke, a box full of tiny letters appeared. The high odds of reading the whole thing before it disappeared were not included.

Yes, the first one is free. Well more or less.

A good walk spoiled by the MLB

Wednesday’s game between the Rays and the Yankees was delayed 16 minutes in the eighth entrance while the referees found out if Aaron Boone was allowed to walk (slowly) towards the mound to get the reliever Miguel Castro.

The delay was about whether the Yankees were entitled to a second trip without throwing a pitch. Pitching coach Matt Blake had visited Castro while the Rays were treating Randy Arozarena, who was injured by a pitching injury.

Even by modern MLB standards, it seemed like a colossal waste of time.

That brings us to reader Henry Blaukopf, a man with a practical solution: “Why does the manager have to visit the mound to change pitchers? Can’t he just use the bullpen phone or gesture from off the bench?

“It’s exciting enough to see referees gathered around the phone talking to clueless replay officials. Some of us like to watch baseball.”

MLB already saves a lot of time with its automatic intentional walking rule, roughly three minutes per season.

Ryan Weber, called unknown to the Yankees as number 85 attests, is listed as 6-foot-1 and 31 years old despite appearing 5-10 with a baby face that smiles a lot. Weber pitched wonderfully in relief Thursday. He allowed two hits and no walks in 3²/₃ innings, giving the Yankees a chance to win, 2–1.

When Weber was relieved, he headed to the bench. The crowd began to rise and clap. It was worth sticking with this shot to see his reaction to fans and teammates. The vision of moments of well-being was fully anticipated.

But YES cut for commercials. Damn!

Ryan Weber
Roberto Sabo

Maybe when the commercials were over, we’d see what we missed.

Instead, we saw a reel of what we had already seen several times: Weber throwing well, hurrying to cover first and smiling, all which is the reason why he was about to receive one or both fans and Yankees . Double Curses!

Do you like Rob Manfred’s all-in DH rule change this season? Are you subscribed to hit-in-the-shift analysis?

Well, both have helped produce (through Thursday) a .242 batting average for all players, down two points from last season and the lowest in MLB since 1968, “The Year of the Pitcher.” After the mound was lowered in 1969, the averages increased from .237 to .248.

The last time he was .260 or better was in 2009, just before it was revealed that analytics is the secret to modern success.

Browns’ Clowney proves to be a clown

Would you like to be a Browns fan, or worse yet, a ticket holder? Or worse yet, a hired PSL tenant? Last week, Jadeveon Clowney said publicly that he signed again with Cleveland because he wants to play with “My boy”, Qb Deshaun Watson. Does Clowney have any consciousness beyond Clowney?

Jadeveon Clown
access point

Even from the bank, Néstor Cortés seems to make the Yankees a better team, more energetic, enthusiastic, entertaining. Forgive me this scope, but until Carmelo Anthony reaffirmed his mandate, Cortés looks like Jeremy Lin’s equivalent. And they both came from so far back and far away that they didn’t even qualify as long shots.

After Michael Kay, in Yes, announced that Carlos Beltrán will be with him when the stars are here to play against the Yankees, reader Christopher Niemir asked if there will be a “night of bringing her own garbage boat.”

Too many on-the-fly stats that are out of context or misleading from ESPN’s Sean McDonough during the Stanley Cup telecasts. McDonough has the savvy to debunk such stats (players’ plus-minus numbers can be applied incorrectly) rather than sell them.

Do you think Vince McMahon’s daughter will fire him?

Briar Patch, Redux: Reader Len Geller on that Rangers fan who punched that Lightning fan: “I thought getting banned from The Garden for life was a good thing.” And the dough you’ll save should easily cover legal fees.

Phil Mickelson played the US Open as if he was betting against himself.