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ESPN's Sage Steele Will Attempt To Serve As Traffic Cop On Network's "NBA Countdown"
Published October 28, 2013
BARRY RELEGATED TO RADIO? In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted ESPN is calling on analyst Jon Barry, who "has no radio experience," to replace Basketball HOFer Dr. Jack Ramsay on ESPN Radio NBA game broadcasts. Barry's TV schedule has "nearly been cut in half (he’ll do 20 games) as a result of ESPN hiring Doug Collins." Barry said, "It’s been tough for ESPN. They are scrambling. You lose a guy like (Johnson), it’s big. (The studio situation) is pretty much a revolving door. They like tweaking it every year. ... You like to find something that you stick with because it’s got to grow together. Unfortunately we didn’t have that opportunity. ... There was a realization there’s no way we were going to be TNT. We don’t have a Charles Barkley. Charles is a guy who is able to say anything and it’s funny. If I said it, I would be thrown off the air.” Barry said of the new "NBA Countdown" roster, "I don’t know what they are striving for. I think it should be four guys hanging out talking hoops, but now it’s none of my business" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/27). SI.com's Deitsch, ahead of the start of the NBA season tomorrow, "invited four avid NBA watchers" -- SI.com's Matt Dollinger, Yahoo Sports' Kelly Dwyer, longtime NBA writer Holly MacKenzie and SI's Phil Taylor -- to speak on a number of TV-related topics. The topics included who is the best national play-by-play announcer and whether Bill Simmons is likeable on "NBA Countdown" (SI.com, 10/25).
UPDATE ON RAMSAY'S HEALTH: Ramsay, who has battled cancer several times in the past decade, said he is "doing well" in dealing with his latest health issue, which he declined to disclose. Ramsay: "I am doing well within the limits. My doctors expect me to be around a while" (MIAMI HERALD, 10/27).