The omission of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony from this Sunday's NBA All-Star Game means viewers must catch the precocious pair in Friday's Rookie Challenge or not at all. That's a nice break for TNT, which is airing the rookie game in prime time (9 p.m. EST) for the first time. "It gives us a huge lift," says TNT coordinating producer Jeff Behnke. "Not only having LeBron and Carmelo, but having them on the same team."
ABC devotes only five Sunday afternoons to its regular-season NHL coverage, which makes it frustrating that premium broadcast time and promotional energy are expended on the All-Star Game. Yes, the match showcases elite players, but its low energy level and soft play (two years ago fans in L.A. laughed when the Flyers' Jeremy Roenick leveled the Sabres' Alexei Zhitnik with the game's only check) don't represent the genuine article and do nothing to sell the sport to potential hockey converts. Three days before Sunday's exhibition, ESPN aired a Red Wings-Avalanche game in which Detroit sniper and future Hall of Famer Brett Hull scored in OT for a 3-2 win in hockey's richest rivalry. Now, that sort of game might actually hook a viewer who happened upon it.
Excerpts from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner's visit with Donald Trump on NBC's The Apprentice last Thursday:
Trump: "I love you."
Steinbrenner: "I love you, too."
Trump: "You talk about winning; this guy's a winner."
Steinbrenner: "The secret to winning is desire.
You've gotta want to win."
Steinbrenner: "You're a special guy."
Trump: "No, you're a special guy."
C'mon, fellas, you're both special.