ESPN

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Bill Simmons leaving NBA Countdown to start “Grantland Basketball Show”

ESPN’s Bill Simmons has left NBA Countdown and will be leading a different type of basketball show this fall. After three seasons on NBA Countdown, Simmons will now be able to promote his network along with having several Grantland commentators and contributors being rotated throughout each episode. The” Grantland Basketball Show” is expected to kick off Tuesday, October 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and be part of 18 episodes that will take place throughout the season, playoffs and NBA Finals.

Via ESPN Media Zone:

ESPN will debut the first Grantland-branded television series – The Grantland Basketball Show – featuring Grantland Editor-in-chief Bill Simmons, on Tuesday, October 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Grantland Basketball Show will feature lively discussion about a variety of NBA topics, facilitated by Simmons, with a rotating group of Grantland commentators and other contributors. Up to 18 one-hour, primetime episodes of The Grantland Basketball Show will air throughout the NBA season on ESPN, including eight during the regular-season and eight during the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals. Other episodes are planned for the NBA Draft and the NBA’s free agency period.

The show is expected to give the outspoken Simmons more freedom as he’ll be coming up with topics while being the star of the show. During his three years on NBA Countdown, Simmons took some heat for some of his actions. Last year, Simmons made an awkward comment after he felt ignored, while NBA legend Rick Barry called him a jerk. In addition, there was also the Magic Johnson rumor flying around about Simmons and Johnson having issues which resulted in Magic leaving ESPN Countdown.

Hugh Douglas let go by ESPN after alleged altercation with colleague Michael Smith

Photo Credit: AP

Former Philadelphia Eagle defensive lineman Hugh Douglas is also now a former employee of ESPN after being let go by the Worldwide Leader, according to Richard Deitsch of SI.com.

The decision to let Douglas go comes just nine days after TheBigLead reported he, and Numbers Never Lie co-host were involved in some sort of verbal confrontation while appearing at a convention in Orlando:

Hugh Douglas and Michael Smith, two thirds of ESPN’s afternoon TV show, Numbers Never Lie, were involved in a heated verbal altercation Friday night at a party in Orlando, three sources who witnessed the incident exclusively tell the Big Lead.

Douglas and Smith, both in Orlando for the National Association of Black Journalists convention, were attending a Sports Task Force party at the House of Blues when tensions rose and the pair had to be separated, sources said.

Two days later, Deadspin reported an additional incident between Douglas and Smith just one night after the original incident cited by TheBigLead. According to the Deadspin report, Douglas was not only highly intoxicated, but also called Smith an “Uncle Tom” at some point during their disagreement:

The next night, there was a party at the club, House of Blues, in Orlando. Douglas was, again, very drunk. Lots of people were drinking, so this was less of a big deal, but then he started making some movements toward the stage at the club… One person told us that Smith—who wasn’t drinking—told Douglas not to go up. It would be a mistake. Douglas apparently wasn’t in a state to be reasoned with. He didn’t go up there, but a few minutes later, Douglas was angry enough to finally tell Smith off.

“Uncle Tom,” Douglas told Smith, according to two people familiar with the altercation. Smith apparently did his best to ignore this. Shortly thereafter, Douglas had more words to say to Smith. He grabbed him by his arm. He threatened to beat him up. Some people, including security, had to break it up.

The report goes on to say that Douglas allegedly has been growing uncomfortable with his role on Numbers Never Lie after the addition of Smith’s longtime friend and fellow journalist, Jemele Hill. Whatever the reason, there is no excuse to represent yourself in this fashion publicly, and to blatantly disrespect a colleague in this manner.

However, we must note that we have yet to hear Douglas’ side of the story, which will most likely be coming in the next few days.

As for Smith and Numbers Never Lie, they are at an impasse of where they want to go with the show from here. On one hand, ESPN could simply replace Douglas with the plethora of former players ESPN has on staff, like Jalen Rose, and continue their course. However, this also may be an opportune time for the show to go back to its roots, and grab a more stat-minded co-host, like the newly acquired Nate Silver, as the Deadspin report also suggests.

By: Frank Santos- Sports-Kings Co-Founder

WATCH: Frank Caliendo strikes again!!!

Everyone that watches the NFL is now familiar with funny man Frank Caliendo. He has portrayed the likes of John Madden and Donald Trump on ESPN and Fox during the football season. This time, Caliendo shows up to talk football with Todd McShay as Mel Kiper Jr. Of course in true Caliendo style, it isn’t just about football. Take a look …

 

 

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The ten hottest female sports personalities

There are two things I truly love in this world: sports and hot girls. Naturally, combining them was pretty much heaven on earth for me. Networks often employ attractive women to boost ratings, but many of the women on this list are not only ridiculously hot, but knowledgeable about their craft. Oh, and they’re also ridiculously hot, if I didn’t establish that yet.

I somehow managed to narrow this list down to ten. It was tough work, but somebody had to do it. Here are the ten hottest female sports personalities:

10. Heidi Watney

Watney, formerly of NESN, is now a reporter for the MLB Network. She has a classic beauty to her, and as you can see in the picture, Big Papi has probably noticed as well. Watney was in the news recently for not knowing which player she was interviewing at the World Baseball Classic. Aside from the fact that she was misled by her producers, she’s also hot, so we forgive her either way.

9. Samantha Ponder

Samantha Steele probably would have been a few spots higher on this list, but Samantha Ponder landed at number nine. It’s simple really; anytime you marry a guy that’s bound to be unemployed in three years, I have to question your intelligence. And I don’t like airheads.

Seriously though, Ponder is a hard worker, and is seemingly plastered all over ESPN nowadays. She’s married to an NFL quarterback, and it hasn’t affected the quality of her work, so stop with the fake outrage, people. In fact, her marriage will force her to work more since she will be the breadwinner of the household when Adrian Peterson decides he’d like a quarterback who can, y’know, throw the ball. That may actually end up being the best contribution Christian Ponder makes to the sports world.

8. Erin Andrews

A former ESPN talent who took her talents to FOX Sports recently, Andrews will probably become a major factor in FOX’s attempt to overtake the World Wide Leader. I don’t know if it still exists on the internet because Andrews has sued all parties involved in it, but at one point you could have seen her naked through a peephole. If you didn’t…well…you should regret it. Don’t feel too bad though, 50 Cent will never see her naked either.

7. Lauren Shehadi

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find much on Shehadi, except that she works on the MLB Network and was nominated by Playboy for the sexiest sportscaster award in 2009. That, along with the fact she used to be an intern at The Best Damn Sports Show Period (according to Wikipedia, which never lies, according to Wikipedia), was enough for me.

 

 

 

6. Charissa Thompson

SportsNation is one of my favorite shows on ESPN (one of the few I can stand anymore). Though I liked it much better when it was Beadle *cough, spoiler alert, cough* and Cowherd, Thompson shows her funny, and knowledgeable side as well in the show. A woman talking sports in-depth is a very fine line.

Let me explain before I get 3,000 women sending me hate mail. If you ACTUALLY know what you’re talking about like Thompson does, then it’s sexy. On the other hand, if you ask me how much a field goal is worth while I’m watching a baseball game…

5. Rachel Nichols

While its possible she’s not the hottest famous person named Rachel Nichols, she’s also a really hot famous person named Rachel Nichols. This Nichols, like Erin Andrews, has also recently fled from ESPN to work at Turner Sports/CNN. Whatever will get her on the TV more is fine with me.

Plus she’s a redhead, so you never know what might happen when she gets angry.

4. Niki Noto

Noto, an ESPNU host, hits one of my biggest weaknesses in girls; the southern accent. If you don’t love a girl with a southern accent, I highly suggest closing out of this article, because you have lost my respect and I don’t need your views. But, who are we kidding, there are three more hot women below and we both know you’re staying to see them.

Her bubbly personality and her good looks will probably have her hosting First Take by 2015. Also, she’s a really good sport when athletes try to give her a heart attack, so that’s always a good thing.

3. Cari Champion

If you could combine the best qualities of Malika from Keeping up With the Kardashians and Brandy, they would make Cari Champion. I should really just bump her to number one for having to put up with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith five days a week, but I’m trying to keep my objectivity on this completely subjective list.

She’s the only reason that it hurts me not to be able to stomach that show anymore…

2.Kristina Akra

I’ve never been so jealous of Harold Reynolds and Brian Kenny in my life, who are Akra’s co-hosts on MLB Network’s “MLB Now.” Akra has been around the block, working on multiple outlets, including FOX, The SEC Network and MASN. She was also a reporter for Washington Nationals games, where she may or may not have been targeted for a Gatorade bath. The only thing that would have made it better was if she was wearing a white shirt…

1.Michelle Beadle

I’m not expecting this to be a popular choice, as I am sure many of you will say that Beadle is not “hotter” than a lot of the women on this list. And hey, you may be right.

But two things: I’m not going to say I am in love with Michelle Beadle, however, I am going to say I’m waiting for her to tell me she will NOT marry me before I start telling other women I am emotionally available.

Also, it’s my list, so uh, your opinion doesn’t really matter.

I hope you enjoyed this list as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’m going to need a few minutes to myself now.

By: Frank Santos- Sports-Kings Co-Founder

Bill Simmons suspended from Twitter by ESPN for First Take rant

Bill Simmons is one of the more prominent on ESPN, and one of our favorites here at Sports-Kings. Simmons is well-known for speaking his mind, and not holding his tongue, maybe even to a fault. However, it is hard for ESPN to justify suspending Simmons from twitter, as they did recently, for saying something that many people agree with, that First Take is an embarrassment to the Worldwide Leader. According to the Deadspin report, this was apparently a violation of the social media guidelines.

Furthermore, Simmons wasn’t even that harsh, but simply said the station made a mistake airing a segment between the controversial ESPN Skip Bayless and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

Here is the exchange Simmons is referring to in his following tweets:

And here was Simmons reaction to the segment:

 

 

 

It seems that Simmons’ “suspension” was only three days, since that was how long it had been since he last tweeted. Most likely, this was a slap on the wrist with the intent to send a message that Simmons is not above the network. However, what Simmons said wasn’t really that harsh, and something that was felt by many of us, even some of Simmons and Bayless’ colleagues.

We will see if Simmons responds, or simply takes the suspension in stride.

By: Frank Santos- Sports-Kings Co-Founder

ESPN analyst says any team that takes Manti Te’o in the first round should fire their GM

ESPN college analyst, Mark May said any team that takes Manti Te’o in the first round should fire their GM

ESPN college football analyst, Mark May, has never been very popular amongst the Notre Dame fans and after his latest tweets anyone could see why. May held nothing back via Twitter about what he thought of the star Notre Dame linebacker. The college football analyst even served up some advice for NFL teams. General managers beware!

 

That wasn’t all though. May suggested that not only was Manti Te’o not a first round pick, he should be considered a mid to late second round pick at best! Mr. May also suggested that if Te’o is a first round draft pick then all five University of Alabama lineman are top 10 picks.

 

It would seem as if Mark May is letting his alleged hatred for Notre Dame get the best of him here. I would guess that Mark May is trying to imply Manti Te’o is being overrated and should not be rated as high as maybe he once was. His draft stock has taken quite a hit with his terrible 40-time, but the guy had a tremendous season nonetheless. Only time will tell if Mark May let his emotions get the best of him.

 

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