TNT is launching the brand new Tuesday version of Contained in the NBA tonight that includes three basketball stars and a Philly man.
The brand new studio present, which replaces final yr’s Gamers Solely broadcasts, boasts some severe star energy, staffed with NBA superstars Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal and WNBA star Candace Parker. However internet hosting the brand new present shall be Adam Lefkoe, a Philadelphia native identified principally for podcasts and social media movies, like a current prank on “Ditch the Playbook” pulled on Eagles heart Jason Kelce.
Lefkoe was employed by Turner-owned Bleacher Report again in 2014, after a number of of his fashionable culture-laced native sportscasts in Louisville, Ky., went viral. In a single, Lefkoe crammed 41 Seinfeld references in a broadcast centered on Louisville males’s basketball coach Rick Pitino’s Corridor of Fame enshrinement in 2013.
“Coach Pitino’s banner, like one thing out of a J. Peterman catalogue. All weekend you possibly can inform he and his spouse had been on the market and loving each minute of it,” Lefkoe stated. “So Pitino had his celebration. Now it’s a Festivus for the remainder of us.”
Since then, Lefkoe has been a rising star, doing every little thing from NBA movies on Twitter to co-hosting NFL reveals alongside Chris Simms. He hosts The Lefkoe Present podcast (typically alongside former Eagles operating again Brian Westbrook) and voices some characters on Bleacher Report’s fashionable Gridiron Heights cartoon. However internet hosting TNT’s flagship primetime NBA present is definitely the largest alternative of Lefkoe’s broadcasting profession, and one which caught him abruptly.
Lefkoe discovered concerning the new job months earlier than the present was introduced, however was sworn to secrecy. He took his promise to not leak something critically — he didn’t even inform his personal mom or his agent.
Born within the Northeast and raised in Bucks County, Lefkoe knew whereas attending Abington Pals College he needed a profession in sports activities, both on tv or working as a sports activities agent. On the time, he was working for Keystone Refrigeration, the corporate his father Bruce nonetheless runs out of Bristol, Pa.
“He had me cleansing ice machines within the Eagles stadium after I was like 15-years previous,” Lefkoe stated. “He obtained Lincoln Monetary Discipline when it first opened. We had been going nuts — it was like the largest factor for our household ever.”
In a dialog with the Inquirer, Lefkoe talked about his new present and the way he obtained to know Shaq. This dialog has been edited for size and readability.
The bones at its base are very, very related. We’re going to have a Steve Nash phase the place he does some actually cool options and sit downs with gamers. Now we have some issues deliberate with web influencers which are fashionable on NBA Instagram and Twitter… if King Josiah or LaJethro Jenkins has an important response to a dunk, we’d need to put that on… .
So I’m going to be watching all of the video games, however I’m additionally going to have Tweetdeck up… Contained in the NBA and NBA on TNT Tuesdays are the reveals of file of the NBA that night time. And I believe now integrating that digital dialogue is simply as necessary because the what’s incorrect with Staff A.
It’s such a cool surroundings. There are 4 seats proper in entrance. That’s the place Kenny [Smith], Charles, and Shaq sit. All of the video games are on and so they’re simply debating and yelling, and everybody’s consuming meals. And the factor I like is though the seats are within the entrance, there isn’t a separation between expertise and all people else. The safety guards might argue, an 18-year-old manufacturing assistant may make level.
The inexperienced room is basically the place I obtained to know Shaq. I used to be within the make-up chair to do a Twitter present after I instructed him we had been going to be doing the present collectively. And Shaq goes, “Oh, actually?” And Ernie [Johnson] was sitting there, too, and stated, “Shaq, you’re in nice fingers.” I’m excited to point out a special aspect of Shaq.
My perception is that the individuals who declare they’re not biased are really those which are biased. I overtly discuss being a Philadelphia fan on a regular basis. And when the Sixers are on the printed, I’m going to speak about it… And as everyone knows, Philadelphia followers are tougher on their groups than any nationwide pundit. We’re those questioning [Sixers head coach] Brett Brown greater than the nationwide guys.
I simply suppose it makes it extra enjoyable. It lets individuals know who I’m extra. And I additionally don’t see numerous nationwide Philadelphia illustration… I’m diehard Philly every little thing. It’s the core of every little thing that I do in sports activities.