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Report: Jalen Rose to join Simmons, Wilbon, Magic on “NBA Countdown”

Oct 15, 2012, 8:02 PM EDT

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ESPN wanted to shake up its “NBA Countdown” game-day studio show because… well, it wasn’t very good.

And while I liked the idea of the show with Stan Van Gundy on it better (and idea reportedly shot down by David Stern) it appears they have rounded out what could be a more interesting roster.

The lineup will be Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons (the “sports guy” and guy behind Grantland), Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon, reports The Big Lead. TBL has pretty much been in front of this story the entire time so we’ll bet they are right here. ESPN did not respond.

This move means Chris Broussard and Jon Barry are out.

I don’t know how the chemistry will be, but it has potential. Rose is engaging, Simmons is clever and has a good fan sensibility, Wilbon is trusted and Magic… is there. He was a very good basketball player.

Still say TNT’s “Inside the NBA” is the gold standard, but hopefully this is an improvement at ESPN.

  1. ihavenonickname - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    great break down of Magic’s contribution

  2. rick1v - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    “Oh, I’m going to miss Chris Broussard”, said no one…. ever. What will we do with LeBron’s posse’s mouthpiece?

    We’ll see how Simmons does. Clever? Well he sure thinks he is. He’s on his Mt Rushmoore of pop culture geniuses. No one denies this!

  3. cosanostra71 - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    not a fan of Jalen Rose to be honest. And while Bill Simmons is an entertaining and engaging writer, I don’t like him in front of the camera.

    • badintent - Oct 17, 2012 at 12:53 AM

      He’ll just diss all the white players and Anyone that played for Duke. Ship him off to do Bobcats’s radio, he can stick his head up NC State’s MJ butt.He makes Chris Webber sound like he has a brain.Can we get Chris’s ex , Tyra Banks to do the show. One lucky viewer a month will be picked for a hot date with her. Rating will top Trumps’s show

  4. moseskkim - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Inside the nba has a solid mediator in ej, know it all Kenny smith, and weirdo/funny Charles. U gotta follow that model or something like it. Jalen rose is boring and slow. I liked Broussard. And I like wilbon and magic isn’t great but he’s a legend. Espn Nba stuff has been boring for a long time. Old school Nba on NBC was the best and now TNT is quite entertaining from analysis down to telecast.

  5. charlutes - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    ESPN is the gold standard and that group is awesome.

  6. supremekingz - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I like Chris Beoussard

    • tubal22 - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:07 AM

      I like turtles.

  7. cordellgc - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    was Tim hardaway an jamal mashburn not interested? over kill, bad show..

  8. n8fite - Oct 15, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    jalen should be a great addition to the group but i think they should have kept chris broussard with the team

  9. lakerluver - Oct 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Chris B. wasn’t very good, IMO.

  10. franklinandbashandflorio - Oct 15, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Wilbon has an absolute man-crush on magic. Get them separated.

  11. donrwells3 - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Nothing against Jalen, I know his career is improving and I should be happy about it…

    but in all honesty, he is one of the most monotonous speakers on ESPN. He has a tendency to ramble with his talking points “dumb’d” down to the point of irrelevance. When he first started, I couldn’t believe how awful he was at talking on TV and they continued giving him time. Watch him this year, you will notice what i’m talking about.

    I get it though. He played ball, was a decent player, likeable guy, etc.

    • cosanostra71 - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:25 AM

      My problem with Rose is that he goes off on too many tangents about his playing days. That’s what kills me about all these old players. They just talk about themselves and their playing days and how good of friends they are with all the players. I don’t want to hear stories about when you played 20 years ago, I want to hear analysis and anecdotes about the players NOW.

    • passerby23 - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:45 AM

      Disagree. I love to hear Jalen Rose. He’s one of the few guys who has the combination of intelligence, insight, and tell-it-how-it-is honesty. I think he’s a great addition. Magic was a great player, not good in commentary. Overall, good additions.

    • skids003 - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:46 AM

      Not only that, he has said and done some things that he should have been fired for. Wonder why he wasn’t?

  12. stayhigh_247 - Oct 15, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Kurt, your credibility went out the window with the Van Gundy plug, no one wants to hear him. He’s right up there with Broussard on the annoyance meter. Jalen Rose can be annoying as well but at least he’s played in the league. Magic is the man, so ppl should stop hating on the legend. This team will have better discussions about basketball than TNT because outside of Kenny, Shaq & Chuck are merely comic relief. Personally I think Shaq killed the chemistry, Steve Smith woulda been a better choice, he can’t carry a show but he’s a good contributor.

    • tubal22 - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:10 AM

      Van Gundy is awesome.

      I’d like to see GP, Webb, Wilbon and Simmons.

  13. dontezfromdet - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    I think Jalen is very controversial which is good for tv.

  14. michaeljordanseviltwin - Oct 16, 2012 at 7:19 AM

    Removing the raucous Jon Barry & inconspicuous Broussard is a positive step but why not get the right guys now?

    I would bump Magic as well and bring in Chris Webber as the bright smiling ex-basketball star. Webber has a much better grasp of English and would offer some valuable insight. Jon Barry, an insufferable contrarian, would be replaced by his brother Brent Barry. Brent is a basketball virtuoso who always has in depth analysis and breakdowns on queue. Broussard has to go too and should be replaced with Jeff Van Gundy. JVG is a smarter, more honest version of Jon Barry. He starts some ridiculous arguments but its clear he’s playing devil’s advocate for the viewer’s sake. Best of all JVG is forthright and calls players out for their mistakes and bad attitude.

    Wilbon is fine as host and Simmons can land a gig with NBA TV, work his way up.

  15. miamatt - Oct 16, 2012 at 7:51 AM

    I would prefer Broussard to Simmons.

    And I like Magic on the show- he doesn’t always spit it out in the most straightforward way, but I like his perspective on the role(s) of superstars and what they need to do to go all the way.

    Rose should be an upgrade over the catastrophically annoying Jon Barry, and Wilbon is one of my faves in any capacity.

    Still chasing TNT, but these guys will be alright.

  16. cantonbound13 - Oct 16, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    I like Broussard. Get rid of Magic, he’s horrible.
    I guess Isiah was turned down by another smart executive.

  17. lakerryan - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Inside the nba is more about entertainment than actual basketball knowledge. Shaq literally knows nothing. He just screams about Javale McGee is the best center and tells stories and acts like a fool. Kenny is good but he’s the lone bright spot. Charles Barkley doesn’t know the names of the players, says outlandish things and doesn’t even give any analysis or knowledge. But it is funny.. And people watch which I guess is all that matters. I’m not sure what’s up with espn trying to go no moderator or lead man. But that just doesn’t work. It’s like having an immature team with no coach. They need to revamp it and just get some coaches or players. Having writers like Wilbon and Simmons don’t really work for people when watching these shows. Oh we’ll maybe they should just hire Antoine walker, Allen iverson, and Charles Oakley. I guarantee you people would watch that train wreck.

    • Kurt Helin - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:07 PM

      I don’t like Shaq on Inside the NBA, but I do think when it’s Kenny and Charles you do get some basketball insights and talk. I like Webber as the fourth on that show, personally.

  18. slippyal2 - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    They got rid of the two anvils to this raft. I don’t mind Magic staying because he can relate to what the superstars are going through. I like Jalen and Simmons, not sure how they will do as a group, but I’m more pleased than with last season’s line up.

  19. skinsfanwill - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    I’m just glad to see Barry gone. He was the biggest Miami Heat/Lebron hater in the world. Bring in Gary Peyton. That show would be the funniest of all time. He is a spruced up Charles Barkley.

  20. canehouse - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    I do enjoy Jalen’s style and he does also offer substance… but Stan would have been amazing on the set… really is a shame that it didn’t happen… would have been great for the game.

  21. canehouse - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Stan would have been a great counter to Simmons.

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