EX-PISTONS COACH COLLINS MOTORS OVER TO NBC ANALYST POSITION
Recently fired Pistons coach Doug Collins signed a deal
with NBC Sports, and will join the network's No. 1 broadcast
team of Bob Costas and Isiah Thomas beginning March 29,
according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. NBC Sports
President Dick Ebersol "denied" that Collins' deal, which is
worth "about" $750,000 a year and runs through 2002, "was a
way to compensate for Thomas's lack of experience." Collins
will also work basketball for NBC at the 2000 Olympics (N.Y.
TIMES, 3/18). Collins will work four regular-season games
and the playoffs for NBC (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 3/18).
Collins said that he asked his agent to contact Ebersol
after his negotiations to return to TNT "hit a snag." He
had worked as a TNT analyst for six years (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
3/18). Bill Walton, who has joined the No.1 team for the
NBA Finals in recent years, "will instead work" on "NBA
Showtime" during the Finals (L.A. TIMES, 3/18).
NAME GAME: WNBC-TV "officially confirmed" that WFAN-
AM's Mike Francesa will team with Dave Jennings to host
"GameDay New York," an NFL pregame show to air Sunday
mornings next season (N.Y. POST, 3/18)....Lesley Visser is
replacing Lynn Swann as sideline reporter on ABC's "Monday
Night Football" (USA TODAY, 3/18)....49ers LB Gary Plummer
will retire from the team and become the color analyst on
KGO-AM broadcasts of 49ers games (S.J. MERCURY-NEWS, 3/18).