Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose have been hired for ESPN's “NBA Countdown” studio show, joining holdovers Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Michael Wilbon. The new “Countdown” quartet, will debut at 6 p.m. Nov. 2, preceding ESPN's season-opening doubleheader: Miami at N.Y. Knicks at 8 p.m. and L.A. Clippers vs. L.A. Lakers at 10:30 p.m.
Jon Barry and Chris Broussard have left the show to take on new roles with the network. Barry will become a game analyst. Broussard will serve as a game reporter and continue to serve as ESPN NBA Insider for “SportsCenter.”
“The unique, diverse perspectives of our new commentator team fit perfectly with the show's free-flowing format,” said Mark Gross, ESPN senior vice president. “Bill brings a deep knowledge of the league past and present, an entertaining style and an ability to articulate his inventive thoughts from a fan's point of view. Jalen's lengthy playing experience and his strong, informed opinions will give fans great insight into how and why things happen on the court.”
— All three major state colleges will appear on the Fox family of networks Saturday. OSU hosts Iowa State at 11 a.m. on FX (announcers Justin Kutcher, Eric Crouch and reporter Darius Walker). Tulsa is home to Rice at 2:30 p.m. on FSN (Mike Morgan, J.C. Pearson and reporter Laura McKeeman). OU hosts Kansas at 6 p.m. on FSN (Joel Meyers, Brian Baldinger and reporter Jim Knox).
— Shawn Clynch, a sports reporter and anchor, is leaving KOKH-25 after nearly six years with the station. Clynch, 29, announced on his Facebook page that he will be joining the KVUE-TV sports team in his hometown of Austin, Texas, in late November.
— ESPN Films' 30 for 30, will premiere “Benji” at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The film examines the tragic death in 1985 of Chicago Simeon High School basketball star Ben Wilson, who was murdered before his senior season.