ESPN2 will telecast a live NBA Trade Deadline Special on Thursday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2/WatchESPN).
Anchor Kevin Connors (@kevconnorsespn) will host with analysts Flip Saunders (@Flip_Saunders), Tom Penn (@1tompenn) and ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard). (See the Twitter feed to the right for updates from ESPN NBA experts as Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline approaches.)
Front Row caught up with Saunders, who joined ESPN in October after 16 seasons as an NBA head coach, to discuss, among other topics, this season’s trade market, his deadline day memories and his transition from coach to analyst.
What has the transition from NBA head coach to ESPN NBA analyst been like?
It’s been nothing but a positive experience. Whether it’s been other analysts, anchors or production colleagues, everyone has been helpful. As a coach, you’re always focused on your team, but you don’t look at the league as a whole. Now I get to study the entire league. It’s fun, but it’s a lot of work. It’s given me such a great appreciation for the work and preparation our on-air talent puts in.
As an NBA head coach, what is the trade deadline day like? Any deadline day memories?continue reading…
On Sunday, after Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup title, the 28-year-old appeared on SportsCenter for an interview with anchor Kevin Connors. The resulting four minute-plus interview (above) quickly became Internet gold as fans of Keselowski and his “Blue Deuce” raved about their beer-chugging driver and his revealing conversation with Connors.
Front Row asked Connors for his perspective on the live talkback.
What was your initial thought when you saw him with a huge glass of beer?
Where’s mine?! Then I thought, this is about as genuine as it gets. His reaction was so real, that’s why it received the response it did. Here’s a guy who just finished off a dream season, and he’s having a beer to celebrate. A very, very, very large beer.
You (and others) commented after that it was a great interview. What did you like so much about it?
The fact that it was so natural. Athletes love to thank their sponsors, their agents, their apparel company, etc. Brad was just sincere, saying he was buzzed (classic!), then admitting he wasn’t the biggest, strongest guy but that he and his team got there through honest, hard work. When I asked “What did your Dad say to you after you won?” and Brad said “We did it!” and laughed, I thought, that’s what it’s all about.
How was the reaction you received on Twitter and from co-workers, friends, family, etc?continue reading…
Editor’s note:I Follow is all about ESPN employees on Twitter: what they tweet, whom they follow and how you can interact socially with anyone and everyone.
SportsCenter anchor Kevin Connors joined ESPN in July 2008 as an anchor for ESPNEWS. Connors just signed a multi-year contract extension with ESPN.
Kevin Connors joined ESPN in 2008 after working in New York City at WCBS-AM 880 and WCBS-TV. Kevin is a SportsCenter anchor and has served as the primary host of NBA Tonight and NBA Coast-to-Coast for the past two seasons.
A native of Rockville Centre, N.Y., Kevin attended South Side High School and was recognized as a two-time All-Nassau County basketball player. A four-year letterwinner on the Ithaca College men’s basketball team, Kevin graduated from Ithaca’s Park School of Communications in 1997. He has won four awards from The New York State Broadcasters Association.
Front Row caught up with him to talk about Twitter and what he likes most about working for ESPN.
When did you join Twitter and why? I joined in 2009 but have only been active this past year. A little late to the party, but I’m trying to make up for lost time! #helpmeincreasemyfollowers! My primary reason for joining was to interact with our viewers, something I do whenever I can.
In your bio it says you are the “Undisputed, #1 [Jimi] Hendrix & Foo Fighters fan.” Have you had any challenges to that title claim on Twitter? What’s your connection to both musicians/bands?continue reading…