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Thursday’s Mashup: Michael Smith says he and Jemele Hill felt ‘muted’ by ESPN on SC6 in final months

Lucy Burdge
February 08, 2018 - 7:51 am

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA:
Boston at Washington, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Oklahoma City at LA Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)

AROUND THE WEB:

-- SC6 host Michael Smith appeared on an episode of Jim Miller’s Origins podcast released on Wednesday and addressed the state of SC6 in the months leading up to the departure of his co-host, Jemele Hill, from the ESPN show.

Hill announced last month she would be leaving SC6 to write for The Undefeated and her final show was last week.

Smith told Miller that ESPN tried to silence the two hosts in their final months together. He believes the change started around the time executive Norby Williamson began overseeing SC6 in September, just before Hill was suspended for her tweets about Donald Trump and the NFL in October. Smith feels ESPN started to tone down their on-air commentary when Hill returned.

“There was a time we weren’t even talking to each other [on air] anymore. Like no more Michael and Jemele, not less, not here and there. No more Michael and Jemele talking. No more of their commentary,” Smith said. “It’s just strictly live shots and analysts. That’s what pissed me off so much. I was like, wait a second, you all acknowledge that one of the strengths we have going for us as a show is Michael and Jemele’s chemistry, but Michael and Jemele don’t f---ing talk to each other? How does that make sense?”

Smith said the network did not try to make the show better but resorted to “pushing the panic button” instead.

“They got what they wanted, which was Michael and Jemele being muted,” Smith said. “And that frustrated the s--- out of us.”

Smith will remain the host of SC6 and said he will continue “to do the same s--- I’ve been doing for the past 14 years at ESPN.”

-- Get ready for Big Baller Brand baby clothes.

Lonzo Ball and his girlfriend, Denise Garcia, are reportedly expecting their first child.

TMZ Sports reports the Laker’s high school sweetheart is about four months pregnant.

Ball, 20, and Garcia met while at Chino Hills High School and she has been featured in the Ball family’s Ball in the Family reality show.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I want you to be by my side. I am going to open my world to you.”-- Bill Belichick, according to Mike Reiss, to Josh McDaniels upon McDaniels’s decision to stay with the Patriots

 

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