Kudos to ESPN for offering alternative viewing options for the current NBA Finals. I hope that someday all major events will offer us broader consumer choices as we found during Wednesday evening Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Not being emotionally invested in this series, chances are I would’ve tuned in late if the score was close or most likely have waited to simply watch the highlights on the late night Scott Van Pelt hosted Sportscenter, but instead I was watching from beginning to end with the guys of the Le Batard show who make me laugh every morning.
In the game’s early moments they offered various “Looks like” descriptions – a popular segment from their radio show. I’m hard-pressed to pick my favorite “looks like” ever although I’m partial to Jon Gruden looks like the guy sitting next to you at the Benihana who when the cook starts to light the onion volcano, elbows your side and with wide eyes says “It’s Showtime”
During the Football season, Le Batard, Stu and the studio crew randomly pull a helmet from “the bucket of death” if that team loses they choose some sort of humiliation from the “grid of death.” We’ve seen them dress as various celebrities, dunk in an ice bath, eat pickled pigs feet or a raw onion like an apple.
Producer Roy pays off his “Grid of Death” recreating James Bond’s emerging from the ocean.
Throughout the evening it simply felt like hanging out with friends. It was easy to listen in on their conversations and sports debates while also watching the game. As always Stugotz was pounding on Durant for taking the “easy route”, moving to a team many believed was already the best in the league. Due to that move in Stugotz’s personal record book such titles don’t count.
Executive Producer Mike Ryan shines as he takes on The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” during a karaoke break.
As happens on the radio show when a team member in this case NBA analyst Amin Elhassan doesn’t provide content that Dan deems entertaining to the listening audience you’re sent off to the penalty box. Over the course of the evening Amin spent quite a bit of time with that hockey stick.
During a montage of audio clips featuring Amin Elhassan’s adamant assertions that Lebron’s best days were behind him, that the Cavs were not destined for the Championships — Amin disappears under the desk.
Jemele Hill’s Karaoke performance of “So in Love with You” was delightfully punctuated by Stugotz sports take, game analysis.
Producer Roy is sent to the Spa as Mike Ryan and the team look on (and yes, this was late in the 3rd with a tied score) ….
But when Dan pulls back the curtain, revealing the ridiculousness that is Roy in a swivel desk chair in a tiny studio next door in front of a green screen wearing a robe Dan brought from home, Roy can’t keep in character and doubles over with laughter. As a regular viewer of the show this is one of my favorite moments ever as Roy tends to be the incredibly even-keeled, quiet presence amidst the show mayhem.
Dan and his team including Producer Billy “Guillermo” inexplicably break into cheers — Home Run Lewis Brinson. The show has thrown their support behind this Miami Marlins player for the All Star game. While a national show they highlight Miami sports including their frustration with the Marlins organization and Major League baseball for the impact that franchise has had on the city.
Stugotz takes his opportunity at SportsCenter highlights from the first portion of the game to once again blast Kevin Durant for joining a winning team.
In the late minutes of the game with the score still tight, Chris Cote seeks to conquer the Oreo challenge — get it to your mouth from your forehead without using your hands.
Miami artist Carlos Solano unveils his live art piece celebrating the evening’s fun. I suspect the piece will find its way to a Jimmy V auction.
After once again failing to impress Le Batard, Amin is sent to the therapy couch. We listen in as Amin “grapples” with his miscues blaming it on overcompensation evolving from his initial meeting where Dan mistook him for a hotel employee.
Making it up to their pal Amin, Dan and crew gave him the floor for Karaoke at the game’s conclusion as the event faded to black.
See what is in store when ESPN presents Full Court Press for Game 4 of the NBA Finals as the Golden State Warriors look to sweep the Cleveland Cavaliers on ESPN 3 and the ESPN app.