“It remains to be seen if it was the right call. I mean the jury is still out.”
– Kobe Bryant on Mike Brown firing
“So I have this straight, what you are saying is the league and Roger Goodell (are) trying for a pub grab.”
–Jim Rome on Ed Reed suspension and appeal
LOS ANGELES (November 21, 2012) – JIM ROME ON SHOWTIME premieres tonight with an all-star lineup including one-on-one interviews with Los Angeles Lakers’ world champion Kobe Bryant, Green Bay Packers Super Bowl champion quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and actor Matthew Perry. Plus, Rome hosts a roundtable with NFL running back Tiki Barber, Hollywood and Sports Executive Peter Guber, and veteran NBA point guard Derek Fisher.
JIM ROME ON SHOWTIME, in its first season on SHOWTIME, airs Wednesdays with multiple replays each week on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME EXTREME® and availability on SHOWTIME On Demand.
The new, one-hour series will showcase Rome’s trademark style and opinions that have made him one of the most famous and outspoken sports broadcasters of his generation. Weekly episodes will feature a combination of provocative monologues and interviews, along with in-depth features and profiles of relevant and influential figures in the world of sports and entertainment. The series is produced by GENERATE ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
Following are excerpts from this week’s episode:
KOBE BRYANT INTERVIEW CLIP – http://sports.sho.com/videos/
ROME: Did a change have to be made regarding (Mike) Brown? Was that the right call?
BRYANT: It remains to be seen if it was the right call. I mean the jury is still out. At the time we were obviously playing pretty bad. In this day and age the coach is going to get the brunt of the blame as it pertains to that. So it remains to be seen whether or not it was the right call. I think depending on how we play going forward that will probably be the deciding factor.
ROME: Magic Johnson said recently that, “I don’t believe in Jim Buss. He has already made two critical mistakes.” From where you’re sitting, do you think that Jim Bus is in over his head?
BRYANT: I don’t think so. I value Magic’s opinion as we all do. He’s been the face of this franchise for so many years. I mean he’s the Laker legend. So I think when he speaks it holds a little bit more weight and carries more significance then when other people speak about the organization. But I can only speak from personal experience and my dealings with Jim; he’s been great with me outside of the Mike Brown hiring which I didn’t know anything about. You know everything else we have just kind of been in constant communications, constant dialogue about it. He’s made some incredible moves this offseason and hasn’t been afraid to pull the trigger on some trades that at first initially might raise an eyebrow but he believes in doing the right thing by the organization and so far it seems to be working.
ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION CLIP – http://sports.sho.com/videos/
ROME: So I have this straight, what you are saying is the league and Roger Goodell (are) trying for a pub grab. It’s a PR ploy. They’re not looking to have something stick, it’s just publicity. Is that what you’re saying?
BARBER: Not exactly but perception is everything, especially when you’re catering to mothers and wives who have kids that are going to play the sport. It’s not everything but they knew that Ed Reed was not going to be suspended for this week. It was going to get overturned on appeal, as it did.
GRUBER: Unless they are authentic, unless their feet, tongue, heart and wallets go the same direction, the commissioner and the whole league, they will be perceived as inauthentic. They can’t keep this as the gold standard unless they do that. I don’t think they fail to realize this isn’t show-show, its show business, and that business is best served if the athletes are safe and the teams are safe and if it is successful in the marketplace. And that’s a quality that I think they are betting on.
BARBER: But the problem is, it’s not going to change. They have to know that it’s not going to change. Ed Reed’s not going to not hit people the way he does now. Ryan Clark, safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is not going to not hit guys.
GRUBER: Ah, they all play by the golden rule here; he who has the gold makes the rule. When they take your gold away, you’re in trouble.
BARBER: But it’s nonguaranteed contracts. You stop doing that all the sudden he doesn’t have the edge anymore. Someone else is going to come up and take your job and you’ll be sitting on the sideline wishing you were getting a concussion instead of sitting at home with no paycheck.
GRUBER: Things change and Goodell’s the commissioner and that league can make a change.
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