NBA Tonight, ESPN’s nightly NBA highlight and recap show, is venturing into new territory on tonight’s edition (1 a.m. ET, ESPN2).
Host Cassidy Hubbarth recently sat down with Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry for one of NBA Tonight’s signature interview segments, “Green Room Confidential.” The interview also will be available on ESPN.com.
Interviewing team owners is one example of the content that both Hubbarth and Bruce Bernstein, ESPN NBA coordinating producer, hope will continue to differentiate the show from other league-related studio programming.
Bernstein talked to Front Row about how the interview came together and where he’ll take this idea going forward.
How did this interview come together?
In May 2014, former Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl sold the Milwaukee Bucks to businessmen Marc Lasry and Wes Edens. Lasry grew up in metropolitan Hartford [where Bernstein lives]. I called on a mutual friend for an introduction to Marc.
He and I ended up meeting back in March and we discussed the idea for a “Green Room Confidential” interview with Cassidy Hubbarth for NBA Tonight. “Green Room Confidential” is one of our signature show elements where we take our viewers “behind the curtain” and interview guests in a setting that is different from other studio shows.
Why did you feel this interview was a good fit for NBA Tonight?
Since exclusive interviews with team owners are not commonplace, we feel that our viewers will benefit from hearing stories about operating a franchise from a man who directs those moves. Lasry will tell our fans why it was so important to hire Jason Kidd as the Bucks’ head coach. He will also discuss how NBA owners are forced to balance being competitive with one another while also finding ways of cooperating in certain areas. Lasry will even show off his spelling skills as he teams up with Cassidy to spell the last name of Milwaukee’s “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo.
How will you build off the success of this interview?
We hope that other owners will participate in future segments as we’d like nothing more than to expand the franchise and create future “Owners Confidential” segments to help broaden our viewers’ understanding of the sport from the perspective of the men and women who own the teams.