1. Almost a year ago, I wrote a column saying Turner should replace the retired Marv Albert with Kevin Harlan as its lead NBA voice.
I’m back to throw that reminder out again as the Western Conference finals loom.
Turner went the entire season without proclaiming a No. 1 play-by-play voice, but an announcement has to be made soon.
There have been some good signs that Turner will do the right thing and give this job to Harlan, who is more than deserving. He called one of two play-in games that Turner aired Tuesday and he will call Turner’s lone play-in game Friday. He also got the assignment to call the NBA All-Star Game earlier this season.
At this point, it would be an upset if Harlan didn’t get the job. Other candidates for the gig include Brian Anderson and Ian Eagle. Eagle told me on this week’s YES Media Podcast that he hasn’t heard anything official from Turner about which broadcaster is getting the job to call the Western Conference finals.
Harlan has been calling games for Turner since 1996 and is a huge fan favorite. When you hear Harlan’s powerful pipes, you automatically get a big-game feel.
The 61-year-old has never been a No. 1 national NBA voice, and it would be a true shame if that didn’t change now when the opportunity is there for him to get the time to shine on a big stage.
2. As we approach Easter, here’s a great story from Chris Long about how his father, Howie, scared the daylights out of Chris’s kids when he dressed up as the Easter bunny.
3. Padres rookie CJ Abrams hit his first career home run last night and then was the victim of one of the best traditions in sports: the dugout silent treatment.
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4. Bills center Mitch Morse isn’t TMZ material like his quarterback, Josh Allen, but he definitely can write headlines for the site.
5. The New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand reports that Melissa Stark will join Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth on NBC’s Sunday Night Football next season.
6. This week’s Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features a conversation with Ian Eagle from Turner Sports and CBS. The podcast closes out with the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week, Chris Long, former Super Bowl champion and host of the Green Light Podcast, fills in for Sal Licata.
Eagle previews the NBA playoffs, talks about the Brooklyn Nets’ bizarre season and explains what went wrong with the Lakers. He also weighs in on the Inside the NBA crew mocking the Timberwolves’ celebration after winning their play-in game, Greg Gumbel’s recent YES Media Podcast comments on broadcasters not bringing any viewers to a telecast and the recent explosion in NFL broadcaster salaries. We also discuss the NCAA tournament, Bill Raftery, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and more.
Following the conversation with Eagle, Long joins Jimmy for the weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week’s segment features thoughts on the story that Tom Brady and Sean Payton had a plan to join the Dolphins, the USFL, the NFL’s social media trend, Severance on Apple TV +, Tiger Woods and much more.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: On this date in 2001, The Sopranos gave us one of its most memorable scenes ever: Tony makes Ralphie grovel during an apology. On a side note, no one in the world has ever managed a plate of pasta better than Tony Soprano.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.