Dream Job
Season 3
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It's not twelve "nobody"s; it's six former NBA players. It's not for a "SportsCenter" anchor position; it's for an NBA analyst position. Put it's still the same old Dream Job and, one by one, America and the judges will whittle them down to one!

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN

Stuart Scott
Al Jaffee, Stephen A. Smith, Kit Hoover, Woody Paige
Mary-Jane April, Mark Shapiro
Jumbolaya Productions, EOE

Airs: Sunday at 7pm ET on ESPN

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Episode 1 - February 27

Over the last year, we've seen ESPN hire two laymen with exceptional sports and broadcasting skills as "anchors" for "SportsCenter". And that's all good and well. But there's more to ESPN than anchors. You need analysts to give the anchors information that better clue-in the viewing public. And it's best if said analysts were experts in a SPECIFIC sport.

Well, Mike Hall and David Holmes, sweat not anymore for your NBA analyst will be forthcoming. It's time for another edition of DREAM JOB. But, instead of relative unknowns fighting to get behind the "SportsCenter" desk, we have six former NBA stars battling it out for supremacy and a job working with Stephen A. Smith and the other "NBA Shootaround" staff.

Let's meet the starting line-up:

At small forward, Boston Celtics' first round draft pick of 1990. 12-year vet, Dee Brown!
At power forward, Charlotte (now New Orleans) Hornets' first-rounder in '89, 11-year vet J.R. Reid!
At point guard, the 13-year vet who was picked in Round 2 by the New York Knicks in '85, Gerald Wilkins!
At shooting guards, signed as a free agent by the Houston Rockets in '90, the only contestant with an NBA Title ring, Matt Bullard!
At center, '90 first-rounder for the Orlando Magic, 10-year vet Dennis "3-D" Scott!
And, as the "sixth man", a first-rounder for the Philadelphia 76ers way back in 1975, "Chocolate Thunder" Daryl Dawkins!

And your officials for this season:

Woody Paige from "Around The Horn" and "Cold Pizza"
Kit Hoover from "Cold Pizza"
Stephen A. Smith, ESPN NBA analyst and from "NBA Shootaround"
Al Jaffe, Vice-President of Talent; hires ESPN people for his J-O-B.

OK, it's time to "do da ting"! Tonight's challenge: Two-Man Weave. Two-by-two, the players will discuss hot NBA topics with veteran ESPN anchor and host of "NFL Live" Trey Wingo. They were given six topics ahead of time to talk about and prepare for beforehand... but they have zero idea which TWO Trey will have them discuss. They will be judged on content, clarity, personality and interaction with each other AND Trey.

First two to the bench are J.R. and Matt. Trey's first bone thrown to them is about NBA rookies like Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor, who played against each other earlier in the week. Matt didn't expect Gordon to do so well and he's a Rookie of the Year candidate. When Trey asks a follow-up about when Gordon will "hit the wall" and Matt stumbles a little bit but gets out that he hasn't gotten to it. J.R. says Okafor is the better rookie despite injures. Trey then talks about Detroit Pistons vs. the Phoenix Suns later in the week. J.R. says "This is going to be interesting"... and then calls Phoenix "Seattle". Matt agrees the Suns have a tougher road to the NBA Finals and gives some good stats to back it up.

Woody says that they didn't mention Okafor had the flu... but was all right with both people. Kit agrees that they showed the personalities, but thought the Suns/Pistons match-up needed a little more exposition. Stephen A., not one to pull punches, says they were both "weak". He says Matt doesn't like the mentioning of the Rookie Challenge and J.R. never made his point about Suns/Pistons. Big Al followed-up by saying an analyst should give OTHER Rookie of the Year candidates to compare and contrast.

Next twosome are Dennis and Darryl. And Trey's first pitch to "3-D" and "Chocolate Thunder" is about Chris "C-Web" Webber's trade to the 76ers. Dennis thinks the 76ers will be contenders... but Webber won't help much and probably won't because NOBODY can help Allan "A.I." Iverson. Darryl thinks the Sacramento Kings didn't get too shabby a deal for C-Web... eventually. He's not really up on facts. As for the Miami Heat, Darryl thinks Shaq is needed to make the Finals, not Dwayne Wade. And Dennis says getting Alonzo Mourning back would be a GOOD thing, even if he's not 100% since his cancer went into remission.

Judges, start your apathy. Kit thinks they're very comfy and liked the personality, though Dennis could use info about the trade. Stephen A. says he likes the fact he was given names... but not the lack of facts and stats. Big Al says Dennis was weak with the C-Web story but Darryl wasn't and neither mentioned the old players on the Heat. And Woody thought Dennis needs a little help and Darryl was too clichéd.

A 20-second time-out is called on the floor as the players do a little something called Fact or Fiction. It's a game played often on ESPN where an analyst is given a statement and must argue if it's a fact of just fiction. Two-by-two, the players will get two topics. One will argue one side and then the other one will. If they both argue the same way, the second one MUST be better. The judges will decide who made the best arguments and who made the worst.

Dee Brown and Matt start off. Matt says "The NBA has not done enough to control crowds at games" is "fact", talking about the Pistons/Pacers "basketbrawl" a few months back, but Dee says "fiction" since being so close to the players is a luxury only afforded to NBA fans. What about "LeBron James will win a championship within the next five years"? Dee says "Fiction" saying LeBron needs a team to help him. Matt agrees since it took OTHER greats (Jordan, Olajuwon, et al) a long time to make it.

Gerald Wilkins and Dennis are next up. "The NBA should move the 3-point line in"? What a question for the man with the most "treys" in a season... and Dennis says "fiction" since it's tough enough to WARRANT three points. Gerald agrees, saying, "Fac...Fiction!" and plugging Dennis' run. "Kobe Bryant won't lead the Lakers into the NBA Playoffs"? Gerald says that's "Fiction" since Kobe CAN do the things some say he can't. But Dennis says "Fact" because he doesn't share and wants to be a one-man show.

JR and Darryl bring up the rear. "The winner of the NBA All-Star Game should get home field advantage in the Finals just like in baseball"? "Fact," says JR saying that, LIKE baseball, it'll give the game a little more meaning. Darryl agrees since this will bring fans in that may not have a chance to see Game 1. "The league needs a new Michael Jordan (like in the new Spike Lee ads)"? Darryl says it's "Fact" since others just haven't done the right thing. JR says "Fiction" because there are young people who can carry the ball in the "role-model" part.

"Stephen A. Smith thinks Dennis did the best"? That's a fact, especially about the 5-point line. "Stephen A. thinks Gerald was decent"? Oh, you KNOW that's "fiction". Big Al thought everyone was weak on different fronts but Dennis was best by an inch. Woody agrees about the weak part, Dennis did the personal touch and Gerald was too confused. And Kit thinks Gerald was too nervous and, again, Dennis just sold it... though JR did pretty well, too.

OK, back to My Sp...I mean Two-Man Weave. Dee and Gerald join Trey Wingo. But, wait... Gerald is playing for "Wendy's Wild Card Winner". If he ain't cut, Samantha Baldwin of Sardinia, OH will be flown to NYC for the "Ultimate SportsCenter Experience". Oh, joy. Anyway, Trey starts them off with Antoine Walker's trade BACK to the Bahstin Celtics. Dee thinks they can make a serious run at a Playoffs, especially with Paul Pierce on the roster as well... and DESPITE the animosity between Walker and GM Danny Ainge. Gerald talks about the other half of the deal: Gary Payton's move to Atlanta. He makes it simple: "'The Glove' (Payton's nickname) don't fit" in any squad now... except Miami, perhaps. Trey asks Gerald about how Isaiah Thomas is doing as GM of the Knicks... and Gerald talks about "overpaid players" all over New York sports. And Dee says the Knicks CAN win with Stephon Marbury DESPITE the fact they every team Marbury left has become better.

To the judges. Big Al says Dee did very well on points... but Gerald should have talked about "skills". Woody says Gerald has style over substance and Dee had a lot of good info. Kit wanted Dee to stay on fact and for Gerald to have more insight. Stephen A. says Gerald "wasn't smooth".. and neither was Dee but at least HE made good points.

OK, it's time for The Cut. Time for loggers to vote on the worst of the worst. The majority gets one vote, as do each of the judges. Three votes and you foul out.

America cuts... Gerald Wilkins.

Woody Paige respects everyone for stepping-up to try this. Dee stands tall despite his height, Dennis has shortcomings... and he cuts... Gerald. That's two.

Kit Hoover likewise respects them...for standing in front of Stephen A. Smith. Daryl should calm the "Chocolate Thunder" deal and Gerald KNEW his stuff but didn't present it. She cuts...Gerald.

Just for s@#$s and giggles we go to Stephen A. Smith, who says that, if this was the final day, ESPN shouldn't hire ANY of them! He blasts all of them for a minute before saying, "Five of y'all got four weeks to improve." Gerald... is NOT one of them; Stephen A. cuts him.

And Al Jaffe could make it a sweep. He felt JR and Gerald had a "bad day" like most athletes do. But Gerald was worse so he cuts... Gerald Wilkins.

It's a sweep. With five votes, the second-rounder gets tossed off the team. He claims he didn't bring his "A game" but will move on.

Five remain... who will make like a Charlotte Bobcat and bomb out NEXT?!

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