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Behind the Broadcast: NBA draft too long, needs to be streamlined

Saturday, June 27, 2009
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At 12:07 Friday morning, the Miami Heat made the final pick in the NBA draft, selecting Memphis forward Robert Dozier.

The chances of Dozier making the Heat are about as good as me winning a Pulitzer Prize, which is why I continually get frustrated with the NBA draft.

The NBA draft is the shortest of the four pro sports leagues, lasting just two rounds, and is scrutinized as much as the NFL draft. Mock drafts abound.

But as the shortest draft, why does it take so long? To last just over 41⁄2 hours is ridiculous. When the final pick was made, I half expected the late Ed McMahon to come out and say to the crowd, “I hold in my hand the last env­elope,” and have the crowd cheer wildly, like they did during the “Carnac the Magnificent” skit on “The Tonight Show.”

Watching the NBA draft on ESPN is like watching a year’s worth of the final two minutes of an NBA game. It takes forever to reach a conclusion.

There has to be a way of making the draft more TV friendly. How about giving teams three minutes in the first round, and then one minute in the second round. Let’s face it, second-round picks are, at best, destined to sit at the end of the bench and be cheerleaders and wave towels over their heads during the playoffs.

The NBA draft should be over by 10 p.m., 10:30 at the latest. Going past midnight is unacceptable.

LOVE HDTV

After watching the U.S. Open over the weekend, now I know why high definition TV is incredible. The replays NBC showed were wonderful, especially when they had the super slow-motion shots on chip shots. You could see every single blade of grass as the ball was struck. It was beautiful.

I love my HDTV.

ESPY AWARD NOMINATIONS

Michael Phelps has earned four nominations for the ESPY Awards, which will air July 17.

The 14-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer is nominated for male athlete, championship performance, record-breaking performance and U.S. male Olympian.

The NBA Finals matchup between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James didn’t come off, but Bryant and James will compete for male athlete honors, along with NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson.

Bryant was also nominated for championship performance and NBA player, a category he won last year.

Serena Williams, Candace Parker, Olympic all-around gymnastics champion Nastia Liukin, Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin and Connecticut basketball player Maya Moore were nominated for the female athlete award.

Fans will determine the winner in 37 categories by voting online at www.espys.tv, or via mobile phone at www.espn.mobi.

Three special awards will be presented.

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award will be given to Nelson Mandela. The Jimmy V Award for Perseverance will honor Don Meyer, Northern (S.D.) State University coach who refused to give up on life while battling cancer and surviving a major car crash. The Best Comeback award is being given to Dara Torres who, after an eight-year absence and at 40 years of age, competed in the 2008 Olympics.

PARTING SHOTS

The Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees from Citi Field will be on tonight at 7 on WCWN (Ch. 45), WCWN HD, YES and YES HD. Sunday’s game will be on ESPN and ESPN HD at 8 p.m. . . .

TBS and TBS HD will have the Boston Red Sox at Atlanta Braves at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. . . .

The NHL Network will have the second day of the NHL draft, beginning at 10 a.m. today. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recruits Jerry D’Amigo and Brandon Pirri could go in the third round, while Eng­ineers sophomore forward Patrick Cullen could be a late-round selection. Union goalie recruit Keith Kinkaid could be picked in the later rounds. . . .

ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD will have the final two matches of the Confederations Cup soccer tournament on Sunday. The third-place game between Spain and South Africa will be at 8:55 a.m. on ESPN2 HD. The final between Brazil and the United States will be at 2 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN HD. . . .

NBC begins its Wimbledon coverage today at 3 p.m. It can be seen in the Capital Region on WNYT (Ch. 13) and WNYT HD. . . .

The U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships are on ESPN and ESPN HD tonight at 7:30, and on NBC and NBC HD at 4 p.m. Sunday. . . .

TNT and TNT HD televises the NASCAR Sprint Cup Lenox Industrial Tools 301 from Loudon, N.H., at 2 p.m. Sunday. . . .

The PGA of America and Turner Sports have extended their broadcasting rights contract through 2019. The two sides announced the deal Thursday. TNT will continue to air coverage of the PGA Championship on Thursday and Friday, and early on Saturday and Sunday.

 
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