Former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl, the 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year, has joined ESPN as an NBA analyst. As part of a multiyear agreement, Karl will provide analysis for a variety of studio shows, including “SportsCenter,” “NBA Coast 2 Coast” and “NBA Tonight.” He will make his debut on the 10 p.m. Saturday edition of “SportsCenter.” Karl previously served as an ESPN NBA studio analyst during the 2003-04 NBA season.
“I'm excited to be back at ESPN and to offer the insights that I've gathered from 25 years of coaching,” Karl said in a news release. “It's going to be a fun season ahead, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with our viewers.”
Karl coached 25 NBA seasons, including the last nine with the Nuggets. He is sixth on the all-time NBA win list with 1,131 victories.
— ESPN is gearing up for the NBA season by airing 31 vignettes on top NBA storylines throughout October. The vignettes, which will focus on a different storyline each day, will begin on Tuesday and will air across “SportsCenter” and ESPN.com's NBA section. Stephen A. Smith will narrate the first vignette, which focuses on the defending champion Miami Heat and its chances of a three-peat this season. On Oct. 20, Karl will focus on Westbrook's return and what the Thunder has to do to return to the NBA Finals.
— TBS will begin its postseason baseball coverage with the NL Wild Card Game, Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, Cal Ripken and reporter Craig Sager.). At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Cleveland will host Tampa Bay in the AL Wild Card Game (Brian Anderson, Joe Simpson, John Smoltz and reporter Rachel Nichols). The broadcast assignments for the four divisional series also have been announced: Los Angeles vs. Atlanta (Johnson, Darling, Ripken and Sager); NL Wild Card winner vs. St. Louis (Dick Stockton, Bob Brenly and reporter Matt Winer). Detroit vs. Oakland (Don Orsillo, Dennis Eckersley, Buck Martinez and reporter David Aldridge). AL Wild Card winner vs. Boston (Anderson, Simpson, Smoltz and Nichols). Keith Olbermann will host the studio show with analysts Pedro Martinez and Tom Verducci. Mark DeRosa of the Toronto Blue Jays will be a guest analyst Tuesday through Thursday.
— CBS NFL studio analysts Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason and Shannon Sharpe will travel out of the studio Oct. 13 to broadcast games involving their former teams. Cowher, a former Pittsburgh coach, will form a three-man booth with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms to call Pittsburgh at the N.Y. Jets. Esiason, a former Cincinnati quarterback, will join Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots to call Cincinnati at Buffalo. Sharpe, a former Denver receiver, will team with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts for Jacksonville at Denver.