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ABC analyst Hubie Brown: OKC Thunder's Russell Westbrook deserves NBA All-Star spot

by Mel Bracht Modified: January 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm •  Published: January 27, 2011
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How big a factor has the loss of assistant coach Ron Adams played a role in the Thunder's defensive decline this season?

You would have to sit down with the coaching staff and say, ‘How much of an input did Ron Adams have when he was here?' Because it's just like NFL football right now, the defensive coordinator, offensive coordinator, they're all getting the fanfare right now. Then it comes down to who had more influence on the Jets defense: Was it Rex Ryan as the head coach or was it the defensive coordinator? Believe me, Ron Adams is excellent. Every place he's been he's been a very heavy contributor to the team's defense.

Are you surprised former OU star Blake Griffin is doing so well as a rookie with the Clippers?

I had him against Portland and Denver early in the season. In those two games he showed me he's more than just a diamond in the rough. We're dealing with spectacular. And I don't use that word very often. He has the ability to overpower people at one of the toughest positions to play in the league, power forward. He has the excitement to draw the fan to want to come to their games — because their attendance is up. The numbers he's putting up against the so-called reputation power forwards in the West is absolutely staggering. And there is still a lot of room for improvement at the offensive end. He is still raw there. But God almighty. He does stuff. It's like, ‘Wait a second! Play that back! Play that back!' Because he is just so overpowering.

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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MEDIA NOTEBOOK

‘College Game Day' at Kansas showdown

ESPN's “College GameDay” will be in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday to preview the Kansas State-Kansas men's basketball game, which will air at 6 p.m. on ESPN. The show will have one-hour editions at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on ESPN. Rece Davis hosts the program with analysts Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and Digger Phelps. Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and reporter Erin Andrews will call the game.

Short takes

* The “NBA on ESPN RV Tour,” an experiential marketing promotion for ABC and ESPN's NBA coverage, will be located outside the Oklahoma City Arena from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Sunday. Fans can participate in activities such as free throw contests, vertical jump challenges, souvenir photo stations. NBA on ESPN branded premiums, such as mini-basketballs, T-shirts, backpacks and rally towels will be given away.

* ESPNU will air a record 10 hours of programming on National Signing Day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday.

* Rusty Wallace, ESPN's lead studio analyst for auto racing, has reached a new contract extension to remain with ESPN through the 2014 season.

* NBC will present seven hours of live coverage of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships this Saturday (2-5 p.m. and 8-10 p.m.) and Sunday (3-5 p.m.) from Greensboro, N.C.

* President Barack Obama will be interviewed by Bill O'Reilly on the Fox Super Bowl pregame show from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 6.

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