People & Personalities: Kendrick Perkins Goes Exclusive With ESPN
In Boston, Chad Finn notes former NBAer Kendrick Perkins is "fast becoming a star NBA analyst," and he has "agreed to a two-year contract to be exclusive to ESPN." His role will include "serving as the main analyst, alongside host Cassidy Hubbarth, for Hoop Streams, the network's on-location digital NBA pregame show on the ESPN App/Twitter/YouTube." He will also contribute to "The Jump," "Get Up" and "SportsCenter." Part of Perkins' appeal is his "willingness to be candid and critical of players who not so long ago were peers" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/8).
SECOND ACT: THE ATHLETIC's Richard Deitsch noted CBS' Phil Simms has become a "mainstay" on "The NFL Today" and is providing a "blueprint for older on-air talent embracing the new." Simms, who previously served as CBS' No. 1 analyst alongside Jim Nantz, said he is "enjoying this more than I thought I would." Simms has been "very effective" on "The NFL Today" and Showtime's "Inside The NFL," as the "opportunity for opinion-making and analysis suits him." Simms has multiple years left on his CBS deal, and he said that he "would love to call one more game before he leaves broadcasting, whenever that day comes" (THEATHLETIC.com, 10/7).
GLOVES ARE OFF: The AP's Dan Gelston noted Mike Tyson is "set to join the Professional Fighters League as host of the new series 'Mike Tyson's New Fight Game: The PFL,' which will debut this week on the league's YouTube channel and other digital platforms before the playoffs start Friday." Tyson will "conduct interviews with fighters, and musicians, entertainers and other famous fans of mixed martial arts." Tyson will be joined on "Fight Game" by co-host Sean O'Connell (AP, 10/7).
TIME FOR HIS CLOSE-UP: On Long Island, Neil Best noted Mike Francesa will appear as an "old-school, high-end New York bookmaker" in the upcoming Adam Sandler film "Uncut Gems." Co-director Benny Safdie said, "We loved his voice. He's a New York legend." Francesa has "two brief scenes" with Sandler. The film is "scheduled for release in December" (NEWSDAY, 10/5).