Hawks, Nets,Warriors, Grizzlies Hit The Hardwood This Weekend On ESPN, ABC

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has officially announced its broadcast schedule for its coverage of the 2015 NBA Playoffs this weekend.

Officials with the network announced Thursday that ESPN will carry Game Six of the First-Round Eastern Conference matchup between the Hawks and Nets Friday evening. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET on ESPN. Mike Breen will have the call for the game. He will be joined by analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson in the booth for additional commentary. Reporter Doris Burke will be courtside with additional news and insights on the game. Those not near a TV can still catch the game online via WatchESPN.

Following Friday’s Round One matchup between the Hawks and Nets, ABC will take over broadcast duties for the weekend, with a double-header beginning at 1pm ET. Depending on the outcome of Friday’s game between the Hawks and Nets, ABC will carry either Game Seven of the teams’ First-Round Eastern Conference series in Atlanta or Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Hawks and Wizards. This depends on whether or not the Hawks finish off the Nets Friday night in Brooklyn. At 3:30pm ET, ABC will carry the Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies in their Western Conference semifinal series. Along with its broadcast on ABC, the game will be simulcast on the radio via ESPN Radio and online via ESPN3. It all kicks off at 12:30pm ET with ABC’s weekly pre-game NBA broadcast of NBA Countdown. Sage Steel will anchor Sunday’s broadcast and will be joined by analysts Doug Collins and Jalen Rose at the desk.

All of the latest scores and news from the 2015 NBA Playoffs is available online now along with all of the latest news on the ESPN networks’ coverage of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Collins Signs New Multi-Year Deal With ESPN

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Another big name has inked a deal with ESPN.  Veteran NBA head coach Doug Collins has signed a deal with the “Worldwide Leader in Sports.”  Collins’ multi-year deal will have him serving as an analyst on ESPN and ABC’s NBA Countdown.  He will be in comfortable company when he starts his duties this season.  He will be working alongside fellow NBA legends Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jalen Rose, and Bill Simmons.  The terms of Collins’ deal also will see him serve as an in-game analyst for select ESPN broadcasts.  It also includes appearances on SportsCenter ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, and other ESPN programming.

Collins was enthusiastic about signing with ESPN in a statement released this week.  “ESPN’s NBA coverage plays a leadership role in the way fans experience the sport, so I’m eager to share my basketball insights with our viewers,” he said.  “Working with Magic, Jalen, Bill and the rest of my new ESPN colleagues will be a lot of fun.”

John Wildhack, ESPN Executive VP of Production was just as pleased with the new deal.  He shared his thoughts in a prepared statement.  “Doug Collins is a one of the most respected NBA voices and we’re thrilled to have him join NBA Countdown. Collins brings a contemporary coaching perspective, which will enhance the diverse discussion on Countdown. Additionally, Michael Wilbon will remain a leading authority for the NBA on ESPN while maintaining the flexibility to increase his in-studio appearances on our important Pardon The Interruption franchise.”

Collins has quite the resume on the court.  He served eleven years as a head coach in the NBA, most recently with the Philadelphia 76ers.  He reached the NBA playoffs seven times.  As a player, he played a combined eight seasons in the ABA and NBA and is a four-time All-Star.  His new deal with ESPN isn’t his first stint in front of the camera.  He was a contributor to NBC’s NBA game coverage and Olympics coverage and has also served as a game analyst for Turner Sports.  He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.  He received the prestigious Curt Gowdy Media Award in his induction.

NBA Countdown debuts Friday, November 1st at 7pm ET during a one-hour pre-game broadcast before ESPN’s season-opening doubleheader.  The doubleheader kicks off at 8pm with a matchup of last season’s NBA Champion Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets.  The second game features the San Antonio Spurs, last season’s runners-up taking on the Los Angeles Lakers.  That game is currently scheduled for a 10pm ET broadcast.

More information on this and all things NBA is available online at http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN and http://espn.go.com/nba.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Battle For Brooklyn One Of 2013’s Most Important Documentaries

Courtesy:  Virgil Films

Courtesy: Virgil Films

Battle for Brooklyn is one of the most important documentaries to be released this year.  The film follows the battle of one Brooklyn neighborhood in its fight against a group wanting to build a new arena for the now Brooklyn Nets on top of their homes.  It originally debuted at the Brooklyn International Film Festival on June 3rd, 2011.  It then went into a limited theatrical release on June 17th, 2011.  But it wasn’t until January 15th of this year that the movie was finally released to DVD.  And now that it’s available for the masses on DVD, audiences can and should pick up a copy of this gripping documentary.

Battle for Brooklyn was filmed by activist Daniel Goldstein, who takes audiences through his personal battle against Forest City Ratner in an attempt to keep his home and those of everyone in his neighborhood from being taken.  The six year-long battle is expertly documented over the course of the documentary’s ninety-three minutes.  In that hour and a half plus run time, Goldstein effortlessly manages to keep viewers engaged through the timeline of the events that unfolds.  At the center of Battle for Brooklyn is the controversial issue of eminent domain, which is essentially the same thing as its predecessor, manifest destiny.  Audiences are taken through the battle of one Brooklyn neighborhood against development firm, Forest City Ratner. The battle happens as Ratner has its sights aimed squarely at the community in question as the sight of the new home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.  Some have called this presentation rather one sided.  But in watching it, audiences will see that that couldn’t be farther from the truth as employees of Forest City Ratner are interviewed just as much as those living in the endangered neighborhood.  And while Goldstein and those at his side make a number of very arguments against Forest City Ratner, the firm’s Executive VP makes at least one solid argument regarding economic progress.  This argument is sure to be a point of contention that will bring about discussion among audiences; some of which may get heated. 

The subject matter of this documentary is much like that of the hit movie, Barbershop 2 as it too focuses on a similar issue.  One of the most powerful moments that viewers are presented with in Battle for Brooklyn comes when viewers discover that those who originally stood by Goldstein had either taken buyouts and their associated gag orders, or simply started taking the side of Forest City Ratner.  Just as powerful is the revelation of some very interesting tax documents filed by a group known as B.U.I.L.D.  The documents in question seem to hint that despite what one member of B.U.I.L.D. claimed, the forms show that a rather large amount of money was given to B.U.I.L.D. by Forest City Ratner.  It’s just one of many revelations that show the power of business and political interests.

Goldstein has crafted in this feature, a story that’s just as gripping as any major legal thriller out there today as is already evidenced here.  The difference is that unlike those legal thrillers, this story is real life.  It shows a topic that while it has been used for movies and TV shows alike, it’s just as serious as those stories if not more so.  It shows an unbiased look at the effect of corporate might on entire communities.  The neighborhood placed in danger here is just one example of something that happens throughout the country.  It adds an extra example in the bonus feature, “More To Talk About” The Tragedy Of Urban Renewal.  Audiences learn that the history of eminent domain goes as far back as the 1950’s and the Truman presidency.  Even as a mini-history lesson, it is an eye opener that puts the main story into even more focus.  Together, the pair makes for a documentary that is just as good as any legal thriller penned for the big screen.  It can be ordered direct now via the Virgil Films online store at http://www.virgilfilmsent.com/store/product.php?pid=604.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.