1. Turner Sports will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Inside the NBA later this week with a four-part documentary series, The Inside Story, that covers the evolution of the iconic studio show from its inception to now.
Full disclosure: I appear in the documentary as one of the many talking heads who explain why the show works so well.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the chemistry between Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal is special. And that chemistry is on full display in this exclusive clip in which the fellas discuss the one time many, many years ago that Johnson got angry with the co-hosts.
Last October, on the SI Media Podcast, Johnson told a story about Barkley, who was being egged on by Smith, ripping up his show notes during a commercial break.
But in this clip, we get Barkley and Smith’s perspectives on seeing the calm and even-keeled Johnson snap at them over a childish prank. According to Smith, it was the first time he ever heard Johnson curse.
“He didn’t speak to us the rest of the show,” said Smith. “I was scared. I was like ‘Ernie might swing on me.’ He was like, ‘You started it because you gave him the notes.’”
My write-up does not do the story justice. You really need to watch Smith tell it to fully enjoy it.
Here is the schedule for the docuseries:
Episode 1: Thursday, March 4, immediately following Heat vs. Pelicans
Episode 2: Friday, March 5, at 9 p.m. ET
Episode 3: Saturday, March 6, at 9 p.m. ET
Episode 4: Sunday, March 7, immediately following the NBA All-Star Game
2. After breaking the news (which was denied by the NFL) last week that ESPN and the NFL had agreed to a new Monday Night Football deal, Sports Business Journal's John Ourand has new details on other TV deals.
Ourand reports the deals with Fox, CBS and NBC will be for 11 years. CBS and NBC are expected to pay around $2 billion a year, while the NFL wants $2.25 billion from Fox.
As Ourand told me several weeks ago on the SI Media Podcast, Thursday Night Football will air on NFL Network and Amazon Prime.
3. If you were like me and unaware of the ins and outs of the trading card explosion and listened to my recent SI Media Podcast with Darren Rovell, you learned that getting your cards graded is imperative.
Well, the explosion has now caused the company that does the grading to double its prices. I still don't understand how there is only one company in the entire world that grades cards. Just makes no sense to me.
4. If you put together a list of the funniest people in sports media right now, former NBA player Richard Jefferson would easily be near the top. Jefferson, who works for ESPN nationally and the YES Network in New York, is a great follow on social media, but he also brings that humor to his television work. Case in point: last week, when he messed with Nuggets star Jamal Murray, who referred to Jefferson as "sir" during a postgame interview. Murray took the ribbing in stride and even tweeted the video Monday.
5. This is how I feel now that people can no longer try to decipher J.J. Watt's tweets to figure out where he is signing as a free agent.
6. The latest Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features two interviews. First up is Bryan Curtis, editor-at-large for The Ringer.
Curtis talks about a recent article he wrote that connects Brent Musburger's firing from CBS in 1990, which elevated Jim Nantz as the network's lead voice, to Nantz's current contract situation with CBS. Curtis also discusses the NFL's asking networks for a 100% rights fee increase on their TV deals, why announcers don't matter as much as we think, and much more.
Following Curtis, Alan Sepinwall, the chief TV critic for Rolling Stone, joins the podcast to share some television recommendations for listeners. In addition, Sepinwall and Traina discuss Your Honor, Ted Lasso, Young Rock and Schitt's Creek. Sepinwall also shares his thoughts on this week's Golden Globe Awards and gives us his personal picks for some of the categories. Lastly, Sepinwall, who wrote the book The Sopranos Sessions, talks about how many people watched the smash HBO show for the first time during the pandemic.
You can also watch the podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Nothing matters this week except Friday's release of Coming 2 America on Amazon Prime. Arsenio Hall told Howard Stern on Tuesday morning that until recently, Oprah Winfrey did not know Eddie Murphy played the old white guy in the barbershop in the first Coming to America. This made me wonder whether other people did not know this. Eddie, of course, played the main barber, as well, with Arsenio playing the other barber. Everyone should know this.
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 Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.