Danny Green committed the cardinal sin of Philadelphia sports — don’t go after the fans.
On Thursday, the Sixers guard struck a nerve across the city by calling out the loyalty and perceived negativity of fans after the team’s early exit from the NBA playoffs last month. Green, appearing on the Takeoff with John Clark podcast, was asked about the impact playing in Philadelphia in front of such a passionate fan base can have on an athlete.
“It has an effect on everybody,” Green said. “And I think that’s something that needs to change in the city. I love our fans, but when things aren’t going well, they can turn on you. That’s the one thing I would disagree with or dislike. Some guys use it as motivation, some guys have a chip on their shoulder, but I think that needs to change. They need to be riding with us, regardless of how things are going.”
You have to credit Green with being open and authentic, something you don’t see too often among modern athletes. But it’s also not surprising Green’s comments drew a strong reaction from Philadelphia sports talkers across the region Thursday, including 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli.
“What Danny Green said is probably one of the major things that ever incenses me as a media person or a sports talk host,” Missanelli said. “I have absolutely no tolerance for a player who puts the responsibility on a fan to create a positive atmosphere for them.”
“You’re supposed to sit there and accept what Ben Simmons did in the playoffs, which led to one of the most disappointing, embarrassing losses in that franchise’s history?” Missanelli asked rhetorically. “I don’t know how you were brought up, I don’t know how you grew up rooting for sports. But to me, that’s a kick in your ass. And if Danny Green is going to say just stick by them no matter what, then he is the most misguided soul on the Earth.”
Over on 94.1 WIP, former Eagles defender turned popular drive-time host Ike Reese chalked Green’s criticism up to playing most of his career in cities like San Antonio, where the Spurs have won multiple NBA championships.
“At times, we can be tough. But here’s the problem Danny Green and people like him run into when trying to voice this to fans: You don’t get to tell us not to be hard on you,” Reese said. “It doesn’t work that way.”
Joe Giglio, who was sitting in for Jon Marks, said Sixers fans have been overly supportive of Simmons over the years, cheering him on at the free throw line and going nuts on the rare occasions he actually attempts a three-pointer.
“This town bent over backward to hope Ben Simmons would reach his ceiling,” Giglio said. “Finally, when the frustrations boil over, I’ve got to hear Danny Green say it’s the culture here, and it’s something he disagrees with or dislikes? Frankly, Danny, I don’t care.”
Glen Macnow, who hosts WIP’s terrific weekend show alongside Ray Didinger, called it a “bad look” for Green to lecture Sixers fans in particular, who had to endure four straight seasons where the team lost games on purpose.
Baseball crews still forced to call games remotely, leading to avoidable mistakes
Heading into the All-Star break, many regional sports networks — including NBC Sports Philadelphia — continue to have their broadcasters call away games remotely.
Tom McCarthy and the rest of the Phillies television crew have done a great job while calling away games from a studio at Citizens Bank Park. Radio announcers Scott Franzke and Kevin Frandsen have broadcast games on the road when they’ve been within driving distance, but otherwise continue to call games off monitors.
On Wednesday, John Sterling offered his trademark home run call on New York’s WFAN for an Aaron Judge blast in the third inning of the Yankees-Mariners game. Unfortunately, the video Sterling was calling was a replay of Judge’s home run back in the first inning.
“Unfortunately, it was a replay of the home run, but it was a good replay,” Sterling remarked after the call.
“This is a great way to do a game, isn’t it?” Suzyn Waldman asked dryly.
Len Kasper, who calls White Sox games for ESPN 1000 in Chicago, made a similar mistake back in April, calling a swing and a miss replay that was showing on the monitor.
“I hold out hope that someone at MLB says this: ‘It is no longer up to the local networks. Our announcers must be at games,’ ” White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti wrote on Twitter. “A person could say that today and change all of this.”
Amid the controversy over Rachel Nichols’ leaked audio recording, ESPN has offered a new contract to NBA Countdown host Maria Taylor in the neighborhood of $3 million a year, according to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand. Taylor’s current contract expires on July 20, the scheduled date of Game 6 of the NBA Finals, if the series goes that far. So far, the Phoenix Suns are up 2-0 over the Milwaukee Bucks.
After leaving TNS in May, former Daily News Flyers reporter Frank Seravalli is now leading hockey content for DailyFaceoff, one of 16 websites from Edmonton’s OilersNation. “This was a chance to do something new in the digital space, which is blowing up right now,” Seravalli told the Philadelphia Business Journal. “TSN is a great platform. You are seen all over Canadian TV. But everything is changing. News is not focused on linear television.”
Former Monday Night Football announcer Sean McDonough opened up to Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina about calling games alongside current Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. “There were times it came across as being awkward, and it was awkward. It was awkward for me,” McDonough said on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast. “You’re standing there next to somebody wondering, ‘If I ask him a question about this, is he gonna answer it or is he gonna be annoyed that I asked him?’ So it was uncomfortable.”
Former Atlanta Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff is filming an “unfiltered” TV show where he interviews former and current general managers, according to NBC Sports Boston host Michael Holley, who filled in for Peter King this week on his “Football Morning in America” column. Among the executives Dimitroff has reportedly interviewed? Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman.