Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons and former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy will host an overhauled NBA studio show for ESPN during the upcoming season, according to SportsByBrooks. It's an intriguing development for basketball fans as ESPN looks to improve its studio coverage.
In Simmons and Van Gundy, ESPN is putting two personalities that traditionally haven't been on television at the forefront of its effort to compete with TNT's post-game program, Inside The NBA. Over the years, TNT's show has increasingly become the preferred program of basketball fans, leading to this bold move by ESPN.
Since being hired over a decade ago, Simmons has increasingly become a major part of ESPN's content. Beyond his work as The Sports Guy columnist, Simmons leads the Grantland venture and executive produces the 30 For 30 documentary series for ESPN, among other things.
Previously, ESPN has used Michael Wilbon, Jon Barry, Magic Johnson and Chris Broussard to host NBA Countdown, but this report seems to indicate that at least a couple of those guys won't be returning. With TNT trotting out the group of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal, ESPN is apparently trying something very different.
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