Behind The ScenesSportsCenter

What happens when you’re live, alone on SportsCenter for two-and-a-half hours

“Yeah,” said a slightly sleepy SportsCenter anchor, Michael Eaves, after what turned out to be a long shift at the SC desk, “my brain was a bit fried after that.”

“That” was Eaves’ solo fill-in stint for Mayweather/McGregor-in-Vegas-bound Michael Smith and Jemele Hill on Tuesday’s 6 p.m. ET SportsCenter. He was supposed to be on-air for an hour. He didn’t sign off until 8:30.

“The craziest thing was being 50-plus minutes into a show and thinking I was less than five minutes from being done for the night,” Eaves said. “But breaking news doesn’t really care about anyone’s schedule.”

“It was kind of wild once I realized how many different people we had join us throughout the evening, including Adrian Wojnarowski, Jeff Goodman and Stephen A. Smith coming on multiple times,” Eaves said. “We even had PJ Carlesimo on the phone from Australia and Michael Smith from the Philly airport.”

“But what I will remember most is how we were able to provide the viewers with so much reporting and analysis at a moment’s notice and continue to give it to them without a commercial break for 90-plus minutes,” Eaves said. “It was a moment that reminded me why ESPN is ESPN and why SportsCenter is SportsCenter. No other network could do what we did tonight.”

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