NFL insider extraordinaire Adam Schefter has signed a new, five-year contract extension with ESPN, and according to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, it includes some additional work as an NBA reporter.
Deitsch reports that Schefter has become an NBA junkie in recent years, and will now do some NBA reporting and sideline work at NBA games when the football season is not in full force. His NBA assignments will be secondary to the NFL, though, and Schefter repeatedly noted that he is not trying to step on the toes of his ESPN colleagues focused on the NBA.
“I want to make it very clear in no way am I looking to infringe on the turf of someone like Doris Burke, Rachel Nichols, J.A. Adande, Marc Stein or anyone else,” Schefter told SI. “They do a great job. That’s not what this is about. I could never do their jobs. This is just me doing an assignment where it will be 100 per cent fun to me. My job is great but it is also intense and relentless.”
This new NBA work, Deitsch noted, helped ESPN re-sign their veteran NFL insider.
“Schefter’s close friends at ESPN know this but most do not: Schefter has become a hardcore NBA junkie. He plays daily NBA Fantasy and following the NBA has become somewhat of a pleasurable obsession. To wit, he’ll often reach out to ESPN NBA staffers Brian Windhorst and Antonio Davis just to talk the sport. He also counts Clippers point guard Chris Paul as an acquaintance. Paul calls Schefter for Fantasy Football advice; Schefter asks Paul about his league.”
With over five million Twitter followers, Schefter is as big a name as any in sports media. It’s not hard to imagine that he will soon be breaking NBA news, too. In fact, he past years he quietly has: in 2013, for example, he reported on Dwight Howard’s free agency decision.
Seeing Schefter on the sidelines of NBA games will no doubt be jarring at first, and it will be interesting to see how his NBA bona fides stack up to his NFL chops. We’ll be looking out for his first interaction with Gregg Popovich.
“Bring him on,” Schefter said. “He can’t be much different than Bill Belichick, right?”