Michelle Beadle is an accomplished sports reporter, host, and media personality with a resume that includes hosting NBA Countdown on ESPN, co-producing and hosting SportsNation on ESPN 2, and anchoring coverage of the 2012 Olympic games in London for NBC.
Beadle is currently part of the Spurs’ broadcast team and also hosts a new show on FanDuelTV called Run It Back. She sat down with FortyEightMinutes to discuss a variety of topics, including insight on sideline interviews, her view on aliens, and the current NBA MVP award race.
CC: If you had full creative freedom, how would you change sideline and post-game interviews?
Beadle: Oh, gosh. I mean, look, they’ve made some attempts to sort of tweak it a little bit this year. Like the coaches’ interviews, it’s just a thankless job. The coaches don’t want to do it. The sideline reporter doesn’t want to do it. It is what it is. Gosh, that’s a hard question because there’s really not a good, fast, easy answer.
It’s part of the game. Everyone’s contractually obligated to do it. No one wants to do it. Maybe you find assistant coaches, somebody who has a personality that’s more fun to talk to. But I’ll be honest, that’s a tough one. If I had an answer to that, I feel like I would be much smarter than I probably am.
I know the post-game and sidelines serve a purpose for the viewing experience. But your hardcore sports fan, they’ve heard every iteration of every question and every answer, and it kind of reminds me of small talk. I would love to make it more medium talk.
Oh, you’re right. I mean, I sort of numb out like I don’t really listen at all. Also, it’s much harder to do. There used to be a time when the sideline reporter was absolutely necessary because that’s how we found out about injuries. That’s how we got stories.
But now we all have 8000 different social media. And we know when somebody is injured right away because they can just tweet out as a team. So it’s a job that’s probably evolving into something completely different at some point.
Alright, so we’re going to elevate to medium talk here. Do you believe in aliens?
Yes, absolutely. The galaxies are way too big for just us. And also, how disappointing would it be if it was just us?
Let’s imagine a scenario where the aliens were trying to take over the earth and to protect it, we have to beat them in a basketball game. Who’s your starting five—assuming we could get anyone all-time at their respective peaks?
Oh, my gosh. I’m going to go Magic Johnson. Michael Jordan. Shaquille O’Neal at his peak. Give me Tim Duncan, because I’m not a jerk. And Stephen Curry.
Who would you want coaching?
Pop (Gregg Popovich), duh.
Would you want to call that game knowing the pressure is on the team to save humanity?
No, I don’t think my personality is set out for anything that serious. I would ruin the entire experience for everybody. I would just need to be somewhere watching it quietly.
The game starts, there are potentially two hours left of humanity? Three hours left with coaching challenges and replays and all that?
You’re hoping for overtime. Yeah, I’d be drunk. I would be drinking wine, and watching it. Well, I don’t even know. Would I even watch it or spend the last three hours doing something? I don’t know, something else?
Let’s get into what you are doing today. I know you’re on a new show with FanDuel TV called Run It Back. How did this all kind of come about?
They started a new channel and they had a football show with Kay Adams and are kind of growing everything, basically trying to put more programming together. The NBA was the next logical sport to tackle, and when they came to me, I was like, Heck yeah, I love talking about basketball: three days a week, an hour each day.
I love the dudes that were doing it with Shams Charania, Eddie Gonzalez, Chandler Parsons, who says whatever, whenever, which is perfect for anything.
And yeah, it’s just it’s fun. I will always enjoy talking about NBA basketball. I’m watching it anyways. So it’s not really a job. It’s just sort of a continuation of my spare time.
I have to ask: Who’s your MVP right now?
It’s funny because Jokic is running a really significant risk of losing it, which was a sure thing it seemed like almost all season long. in these last final dozen games it’s not looking great.
I love Jokic. I love Giannis. But I love the idea of Joel Embiid getting it. All the arguments can be made for why he should get it, but I also love that it means something to him and he’s been very vocal about that. To me, that’s kind of cool. Most players are too cool for school and Joel isn’t one of them.
Do you have an official vote by the way?
No, I used to, but not anymore.
Do you wish you still did?
No, because at the end of the day, half the people took it seriously and half didn’t. And it’s just sort of fun to watch. And then when it is picked, we get to argue about it as fans. So it’s kind of nice.
If you were voting this year, who would be your Executive of the Year?
Sacramento’s done such a good job with what were simple trades. Bringing Kevin Durant to Phoenix is pretty big, but we don’t know really how that’s going to pan out yet.
But what the Kings have been able to do from literally ground zero to what they’re doing now, it to me has just been a hell of a good story. In sports, not just basketball. So yeah, I’m going to go Sacramento on this one.
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.