On the Buzzer
State of Play
We Love to Interrupt
The Video Wall
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
Host: Stuart Scott
Judges: Al Jaffee, Stephen A. Smith, Kit Hoover, Woody Paige
EP: Mary-Jane April, Mark Shapiro
Packager: Jumbolaya Productions, EOE
Airs: Sunday at 7pm ET on ESPN
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Episode 4 - March 20
We are down to a mere trio of former NBA "ballers"
awaiting their shot at a "dream job" of being an NBA analyst for
one year (and maybe longer) on ESPN. But they'll have to get past
Woody Paige, Kit Hoover, Stephen A. Smith, Big Al Jaffe and, of
course, the American viewing audience.
We start with The Fifth Quarter. Once again, this
episode immediately follows a live game on ESPN: Minnesota
Timberwolves beating up the Houston Rockets. Host Stuart Scott
will ask each player a question about said game and he can answer
first. After that, though, ANYBODY can jump-in.
Matt Bullard, what were the keys to the T'Wolves' victory? He
claims (while stumbling) that they played with Playoff-style
energy. Dee says the key was the bench players and gave stats. And
Dennis says they HAD to play with that energy since they're
fighting for the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
Dennis "3-D" Scott, do the Rockets miss Juwan Howard? He says "a
little bit" but they need a point card. Dee says they DO miss him
and that Yao Ming is overworked. Matt says, though, that the
T'Wolves' Kevin Garnett was just too overpowering, even IF Howard
was in the game.
And "Wee" Dee Brown, is Garnett the most talented player in the
NBA? He says yes, saying he brings a LOT to the game and to his
teammates. Matt uses stats and Dennis says he can do it all.
Now, some toss-up questions for the field. First: are the Rockets
mentally tough enough to win in the Playoffs? Dee jumps in that
they are with Jeff Van Gundy. It then turns into 20 seconds of
three guys yapping and TRYING to make a point.
Second: Has Yao Ming, the seven-foot-six Chinese center for the
Rockets, lived up to expectations. Matt says he's doing well for
just his third year, Dee agrees while giving facts... and Dennis
says he's done well what with the culture change from going to
To da judges! Stephen A. says Dee was the undisputed winner and
Matt was worst, "sounding like a play-by-play guy". Big Al agrees
that Dee was great on stats, Matt was too cliched and Dennis was
too repetitious. Woody loved the spirit and action and gives a
SLIGHT edge to Dee and Dennis was SLIGHTY worse for not being
assertive again. Kit thought she was watching "The View". Dee is
best to her... Matt is worst.
OK, to the main task. "SportsCenter" anchor Trey Wingo retuns for
the Three-Man Weave. Trey will ask questions
about five NBA topics. The players have been given the general
TOPICS, but don't know SPECIFICALLY what Trey will ask. They'll be
judged on knowledge, delivery and personality.
Oh, yeah, and Dee Brown has been selected to represent the
"Wendy's Wild Card Winner", namely Scott Bevis of White Oak,
Texas. If Dee stays in the game by the end of the night, Scott
gets the NYC/Briston "Ultimate SportsCenter Experience" package.
Trey starts off showing highlights of a game from the previous
Friday: Denver Nuggets hosting L.A. Clippers and winning 115-96.
He then asks Dee if the Nuggets will secure the final spot in the
Western Conference... if only because of coach George Karl. He
gives great information with barely a stumble. Matt is asked what
the struggling L.A. Lakers have to do to take the spot and he says
they're "in big trouble". Kobi has the numbers that no one else on
the Lakers are even close to... but MATT's wondering why former
coach Phil Jackson's motorcycle has been seen outside the Lakers'
practice facility. Dennis is asked whether or noth the T'Wolves
are headed in the wrong direstion and thinks that it's a sorry
year and that changes NEED to be made.
Next highlight is the New Orleans Hornets hosting the Bahstin
Celtics, with the mean green machine winning 113-110. Matt is
asked why the Celtics are so hot. Matt says it's Antoine Walker,
since they're 11-1 since trading to bring him back. Dennis gets a
follow-up: how is Walker's play good for the team? Dennis says
it's a one-two punch is Walker and Ricky Davis. What about the
problems between Walker and GM Danny Ainge? Dee doesn't think
they're there now that they're winning... and selling more seat.
Third highlight: Chicago Bulls taking on the Philly 76ers and
beating them 94-88. Trey starts with Dennis, asking him how many
teams from the pathetic Atlantic Division will make the Playoffs.
Dennis says one or two... and worst just Philly (the New Jersey
Nets have a slim chance). Dee is asked if Chris Webber and Jim
O'Brien have a "fixable situation"... and he says they do but they
must be given more time. Matt is last, being asked what's the
problem between Jason Kidd and Vince Carter? He says it's because
Carter is getting better and they lost because of Richard
Fourth up is the Suns hosting the Golden State Warriors on Friday
night. The Warriors came out and played, winning by five. Dee is
asked if the Suns are built to go far in the Playoffs and Dee
disagrees, again given stats. Matt is asked "Pretender or
Contender: the Seattle Supersonics?" Matt says "Pretender" because
their three-point game may be great... but it won't last under
Playoff pressure. Dennis gets asked, point-blank, if the San
Antonio Spurs are beatable. Dennis says they're not, giving some
stats and calls them the "All-Fundamental Team".
Final topic is the red-hot Miami Heat [Marv Albert] andaKnicks[/Marv
Albert]! This was just plain UGLY as Miami slaughters New York
97-82 for their 12th straight victory. Matt is asked which team
can challenge the Heat in the Playoffs... and Matt says, "No one"
and talks about Shaq and Dwayne Wade. Is Wade a better compliment
to Shaq than Kobi? Dennis says "no question" since Wade doesn't
worry about himself like Kobi does. And Dee says their weakness is
their inexperience... since it's been a while since they've been
in the Playoffs.
Big Al thinks it was a good job and he's glad they did what he
asked of them and made calls to get more info... but Dennis wasn't
impartial, Matt didn't answer his Heat question right and Dee had
minor issues. Woody gives his pet peeve: repeating questions. Matt
is likable but should give obscure, Dee sped up and gave good
stats and Dennis... not so much. Kit is glad Dee FINALLY slowed
down and thinks the "Wild Card Winner" had better pack his bags...
Matt was hesitant and Dennis made it TOO personal. Stephen A says,
"Let me just go down the list." He rags EVERYBODY out... though he
says Dee got better over time and Matt was the absolute worst.
Now... it's overtime and a "double secret" task: Fact or
Fiction...versus Stephen A. Smith! Each player will be
asked a statement and argue if it's "fact" or "fiction". Then
Stephen A. will do his best to put the player down as HE argues
First up is Dennis. First statement: "Avery Johnson is a good
choice for the future of the Dallas Mavericks." Dennis says,
"Fact," due to his experience... and Stephen A. agrees but it's
his hands-on approach. "Steve Nash is the MVP of the NBA"?
"Fiction," says Dennis, saying Shaq is the MVP. Steven A. says
"fiction" as well... and says that Dennis didn't mention how well
OTHER potential MVPers did. "The NBA should impose a minimum age
of 20"? Dennis goes "Fact," wanting men to go to college and
playing for a true coach. Stephen A. says Dennis is WAY too vague
and thinks it's "Fact" so that the boys can learn to act like men!
Dee steps up to the podium and stares down Stephen A. "Steve
Francis hurts the Orlando Magic more than he helps"? Dee says
"Fiction" because he has good stats and a good player... but
Stephen A. says "Fact" since his favorite teammate was traded AND
he redently kicked a photographer Dennis Rodman-style. "Mani
Ginobili is more important to the Spurs than Wade is to the Heat"?
"Fiction," says Dee, spotting how good Wade is... and Stephen A.
is PASSIONATE about his "Fact". "The NBA should play a shorter
regular season"? "Fiction," says Dee, since it seperates the "ballers"
from the "bums". Stephen A. says "Fiction" because "more gamres,
Matt is last... and chomping at the bit! "Isiah Thomas has done a
good job as NY Knicks general manager"? (Yeah, right!!) Matt says,
"Fiction... that's an obvious answer", citing the cap problems and
lethargy. Stephen A. says "Fiction", comparing Isiah to Tim
Thomas. "With Baron Davis, the Warriors will contend next season"?
"Fiction," says Matt, adding that they'll be BETTER... but not
good enough. "Fiction," says Stephen A. and adds players' names.
"The first round of the NBA Playoffs should go back to a
best-3-of-5 (it was changed to best-5-of-7 a few seasons ago)"?
Matt goes "Fiction" because of the money and less upsets. Stephen
A. says "Fact" saying "the Playoffs last longer than Congressional
To the judges! Woody says "the worst, obviously, is Stephen A.
Smith"... then gets serious. He thinks everyone tied, since nobody
gave spectacular answers. Kit says they all held their own but
Matt was the best. Stephen A. says nobody stood out but nobody was
awful, either. And Big Al says that Dee surprised him... in a BAD
way... and Matt was good.
OK, it's time once again for The Cut. Time for
ESPN.com loggers to vote on the worst. The majority gets one vote,
as do each of the judges. Three votes and you get a "facial".
Woody Paige says Dee has the slight edge but not to relax. The
other two worked hard and had a hard time to decide. By a THIN
margain, he cuts... Matt.
Kit Hoover says Dee "owned the night" and was EQUALLY hard for
her... but Matt gave good stats so she cuts... Dennis. One-all.
Stephen A. Smith says Dee is all but a lock to win. Dennis and
Matt made a lot of mistakes... Matt had more good info... but
Dennis had more personality. Therefore, he cuts... Matt. One more
and he's dead.
Al Jaffe agrees that Dee is safe. He admits that Matt and Dennis
improved... but Dennis had weak arguments. He cuts... Dennis
We are down to America's vote. If it's for Dee,... well, then,
America is BLIND! But, if it's for one of the others, that one is
"3-D" is DOA in this competition. He says he wouldn't do much
differently but is sad to go. Matt had thought he was dead meat
and will have to "come with it" next week.
Matt Dillard and Dee Brown tip-off for the one-year contract next
week! Who will be the next ESPN NBA analyst?!