The Spurs broadcast has been a point of contention for NBA fans for years. While the locals seem to generally enjoy it, outsiders watching in league pass didn’t seem to find it all that pleasant. Even those who liked it probably agreed that it could improve, and this year it did, in large part because of the addition of Michelle Beadle.
After years working for ESPN, Beadle moved back home to San Antonio and became a fixture in the team broadcasts, providing a breath of fresh air to a crew that seemed a little too set in its ways. Beadle first started joining Bill Land and Sean Elliott for short segments, but has more recently been on the team for full games, and the new formula seems to work. While she’s open about being a fan and not an expert, she brings a lot to the table both in terms of entertainment and commentary, and really lets the other two members shine instead of trying to be the star, despite having an illustrious career. More than anything, she brings an element of fun and chaos that has been welcomed.
It’s just hilarious to see her mess with Elliott, especially when he leans too heavily on his “back in my days” act, and banter with Land about trivial topics like having mayo on fries. She’s also not afraid to share her opinions even if they are controversial and does a great job of simply asking interesting questions that spark entertaining conversations with the others. The individual things Beadle brings to the table might not seems to be all that important when discussed on their own, but the whole is normally bigger than the sum of its parts when it comes to her work. In simpler terms, just having her on the broadcast changes the vibe and makes it better for viewers of a rebuilding team that sometimes need the distraction. That’s a perfectly valid reason to try to keep her involved in the role she’s had lately.
It might be hard to make Beadle a permanent part of the team, because she might have other plans. Her title this year has been especial correspondent, which probably gives her more freedom to focus on other projects, like the recent all women pregame show. She also has a podcast and could easily land a job on a network if she wanted to, but has been open about deciding to take it easy career-wise, which means she’s probably more comfortable with joining every now and then than actually committing to 82 games on the broadcast. Still, the more Beadle we can get, the better, so hopefully she’ll have as big of a role as she wants next to Bill and Sean next season.
The atrocious job ESPN did of discussing the Spurs during the play-in game likely led to a lot of fans yearning for the team broadcast. In a year in which the Silver and Black had no nationally televised games and weren’t particularly good, it was almost impossible to avoid feeling a strong connection to a local crew that at least tried to always keep things interesting. And Beadle’s addition played a big factor in achieving that, so hopefully she’ll be back next season.
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