1. I don’t want to criticize the broadcast crew of Mark Jones and Mark Jackson for their call of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. They’re likely going to work only one game, they don’t normally work together and ABC/ESPN was in a tough position with two of their three broadcasters being on the shelf. You have to assume Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy will return from their COVID-19-related absences for Game 2 on Sunday and ABC will have its regular booth ready to go.
I will say that Jones’s calling the Celtics’ surreal fourth quarter and wild comeback an “insurrection” was an interesting word choice.
However, the oddest moment of ABC’s telecast of Game 1 between the Celtics and Warriors was the absence of player intros.
For some reason that I can’t figure out at all, ABC took a pass on airing one of the best parts of an NBA telecast.
It might seem like a small thing to some, but those player intros are highly entertaining and also tradition. When you put on Game 1 of the NBA Finals, you expect to get player intros.
Those intros serve two purposes. For the regular NBA fans, we look at several things: How amped is the crowd? How low-key does the PA announcer keep things for the visiting team? Which players are gonna put on a little show when they come out?
For the fringe fan who just tunes in for the Finals, this is their chance to get familiar with the players, the starting lineups and where the players went to college.
Game 1’s telecast was like going to an Italian restaurant and not getting a basket of bread before your meal.
You expect to get it, you enjoy it and when you don’t get it, you miss it and get a little bit angry.
2. Here’s how Kendrick Perkins showed up for today’s First Take:
It’s almost as if he wanted Twitter to mock him. And mock him they did.
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3. Proving, once again, that baseball players end up with the strangest injuries, here’s Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor explaining what happened to him Thursday that caused him to miss that night’s game against the Dodgers:
“After I finished my massage, I went to my room and I have double doors and I went to close one and I didn’t think the other one was gonna close and they closed at the same time and the next thing you know, I got a swollen finger.”
4. Dallas Mavericks center Boban Marjanović took on Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday night in a game of “dodge basketball,” and this needs to become a mainstream event.
5. Someone let Tua know that 1) practice doesn’t count and 2) there are plenty of people who aren’t on Twitter who don’t think he’s a good quarterback. What a ridiculous quote this is.
6. The latest SI Media Podcast features a conversation with The Athletic‘s media reporter and former SI writer, Richard Deitsch.
Among the topics covered: why it’s become a thing to knock Bill Simmons; is the Greg Olsen–Tom Brady–Fox Sports situation “weird”?; what the Brady–Fox Sports deal is all about; ManningCast copycats; NESN to offer its own streaming service for $29.99 a month; and Al Michaels being named emeritus at NBC Sports.
We also talked about Deitsch’s decision to stop tweeting on Feb. 20 and when he’ll be back on the social media service.
Following Deitsch is the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment with Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York. Jimmy and Sal break down the surreal Tommy Pham–Joc Pederson–Mike Trout fantasy football controversy, share their thoughts on Derek Jeter joining Twitter and answer listener emails.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 55th birthday to Anderson Cooper. Thank you for this now 10-year-old moment.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify gold Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, instagram and TikTok.