Podcasting has paid off big for one former member of the Golden State Warriors. Departed team president Bob Myers has agreed to join ESPN as a member of their “NBA Countdown” pre-game show, as well as game coverage.
NBA Countdown gets a new look on Saturdays & Sundays this #NBA season on @ABCNetwork— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) August 14, 2023
NBA Today host @malika_andrews joins as host of all editions of NBA Countdown
Two-time NBA Executive of the Year Bob Myers rounds out the new ABC crew
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ESPN calls it “reimagined” plans for their NBA coverage, because they’re owned by Disney, and that’s how Disney describes things. “Reimagined” is also pithier than explaining they laid off Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Jalen Rose to save Disney some money, and so now they need replacements.
Returning panelists Michael Wilbon and Stephen A. Smith will join Myers on the NBA countdown set, along with rumor merchant Adrian Wojnarowski and the show’s new host, Oakland’s own Malika Andrews. Because everyone agrees, you get the best content when you cram five people onto a set for a four-minute halftime segment.
In addition, Doris Burke and Glen “Doc” Rivers will join the main broadcast team with Mike Breen. Rivers plans to honor the departed Jackson with his own signature catchphrase: “Mama, there goes that 3-1 lead!”
Myers will also reportedly do game coverage, perhaps as part of a three-man booth. We can’t really imagine Myers asking Gregg Popovich questions between quarters or delivering injury reports. Although having the 6’7” Myers giving interviews would be a very different visual dynamic than most sideline interviews, where players tower over their interlocutors.
It’s not Myers’ first time doing business with ESPN. In January, ESPN launched a podcast called “Lead By Example,” where Myers interviewed different leaders, including Steph Curry, Steve Kerr and, coincidentally, Disney CEO Robert Iger. That was also produced by Peyton Manning’s “Omaha Productions” - maybe he’ll join the set too!
Myers led the Warriors for eleven years, winning four titles and two Executive of the Year awards. But he left the team when his contract expired in June. Who knows why he left? It could be money, burnout, the desire to spend a whole day without talking to a single Lacob on the phone - the possibilities are endless. But perhaps Myers simply gets restless with his careers.
Before he joined the Warriors, Myers was a longtime player agent, working with power agent Arn Tellem. He changed careers in 2011, becoming an assistant GM with the Warriors before being promoted to the top job in 2012. Tellem himself left the world of sports representation for a front office as well, becoming vice chairman of the Detroit Pistons, with slightly lesser results.
It could be that Myers simply wants to try something new, and working for ESPN is a good way to stay adjacent to the world of basketball, while working far less demanding hours. If he can work with Draymond Green, the Stephen A. Smith of basketball players, working alongside the actual Stephen A. Smith will be easy. No one punches each other at ESPN, after all - they just stab each other in the back.
It could also be that Myers learned what Green and Andre Iguodala already know: Podcasting is addictive. Even when you’ve played basketball at the highest level, there’s something about getting mic’d up and spitting facts that’s irresistible. Myers got a taste of it with his podcast, and now he wants to be on the mic multiple times a week.
He should be good on it, unless he’s too thoughtful for the job. One of Myers’ great strengths as a general manager was his ability to listen to everyone, remain calm, and give thoughtful, measured responses in times of crisis. That isn’t exactly what he’ll need when Andrews demands that he name three winners and losers from the James Harden stalemate, or when he has to pick an over/under for ESPN Bet.
But he’s smart, tall, and handsome, and Myers should succeed. For a while. Because he should have his pick of open NBA front office jobs after a year at ESPN. And also because ESPN
shuffles the personnel on reimagines their pre-game show nearly every year. You’d think that the long-term stability of “Inside The NBA” would be a model - they’ve had the same three hosts since 2000, and Shaq has been there 12 years.
But that’s not the ESPN way. So Myers might want to keep his ear to the ground about NBA jobs, or he might go the way of other NBA Countdown panelists. Like Mike Greenberg. Or Bill Simmons. Or Michelle Beadle. Or Magic Johnson. Or Paul Pierce. Or Sage Steele. Or Jon Barry...