SBD/August 13, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With ESPN "NBA Countdown" Host Sage Steele

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Name: Sage Steele

Title: ESPN/ABC "NBA Countdown" host

Age: 41

Where I’m from: Indiana

Where I call home: Scottsdale

Focusing on right now: Paying really close attention to all things NBA while taking a break and hanging out with my three kids and my husband.

Steele makes spending time with her family a
priority during the NBA offseason
Best advice: My dad is a West Point grad, and throughout our childhood he made us recite part of the cadet prayer from West Point -- "Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong." I have to say as I’ve grown in my career, that is so important. It can be applied really anywhere in your life.

A must for a new hire: A team player, I think it's crucial. It isn't ever about just one person. Sometimes I've been criticized internally through the years as a really young reporter being too humble, taking a step back too much, and that’s because of my goal of making sure everyone feels included. But I think if you’re not a team player and don’t want to be part of the team, then I don’t want to work with you.

Media figure I admire the most: She was my idol -- and really she still is -- ROBIN ROBERTS. I know she’s that person for many women. It has nothing to do with race. People think, “Oh that’s the natural pick because you look the same.” But it was just that she was a woman sitting in that “SPORTSCENTER” chair, which is where I wanted to be. It seemed like she did everything the right way. Now I know more about her -- how she carries herself, and how she treats people so well no matter what’s happening in her life.

Best book I’ve read this year: I just started reading this on the plane the other day, "Lean In," by SHERYL SANDBERG. I struggle sometimes with that work-life balance. With three kids and a husband and really trying to own my job, it can be tough.

First thing in the morning: I feel kind of guilty about rolling over, turning off my alarm and checking e-mail or Twitter right off. Shouldn't I get a cup of coffee first or make sure my kids are still breathing first? So I do all of that first and it sort of gets my mind moving to start the day.

Talking tech: It took me a while to get active on Twitter. I thought it was really useless. But I’m usually slow taking to technology anyway -- I fight it. But I quit fighting and bought in and now I’m active on there. Also, I love my tablet because it’s made things so much easier. When I was hosting "SportsCenter," as well as "NBA COUNTDOWN," I have it with me at the desk there and during commercial breaks can quickly scan for information or opinions.

Must have music: I have so many random things on my iPod. I love ADELE, AMY WINEHOUSE, BRUNO MARS, JAY Z, BEYONCE, STRAIGHT NO CHASER -- an a capella group from my alma mater, Indiana. Also DR. DRE, all that stuff from the early '90s. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE is my musical obsession. I just have to make sure I change it up when my kids get in my car -- then it’s good, wholesome mom and nice songs.

Food for thought: We cook at home a lot. We’re really pretty intolerant when it comes to picky children, so they eat what we eat. We eat a lot of salmon, asparagus, pasta. Also, my husband JONATHAN is a big hunter, so if he gets two deer a year, then we’re set with venison, which I use on anything. I have no tolerance for picky eaters.

How I unwind: I try to work out three to four days a week. But I will say, I really struggle with relaxing. I really don’t know how to, it’s a major issue with me. We go to Cape Cod with my mom sometimes and that’s honestly the only place I’m able to relax because she takes my phone and sends me to the beach with the kids.

Day in the life: The salary of NBA coaches has struck me recently. There are guys getting jobs who have no head coaching experience -- the STEVE KERRs and JASON KIDDs of the league. It's fascinating, the domino effect it has had. You have a guy like GEORGE KARL coming off being coach of the year, and then he's let go. It is fascinating to see what these owners are doing, what they're thinking and the chances they're taking on these young coaches.
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