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Why the NBA Isn't Becoming the English Premier League

With all this talk of All-Stars on the move (Melo! D WIll!), it’s fitting that The Wall Street Journal examines the recent trend of the NBA’s biggest stars moving to the league’s biggest markets.

Kevin Clark worries that basketball is becoming like the English Premier League, which has seen only four teams finish in one of the top three spots over the past seven seasons. And he’s correct to some extent.

Last season, the NBA’s standard deviation of wins was 13.4, up from 10.8 in 2006-07. That suggests the best NBA teams were about 24 percent better than the worst ones. In the EPL, the standard deviation was 18.1 points last season, up from 15.9 in 2006-07. That’s a 13.8 percent increase over the same period of time. If that keeps up, the NBA will soon look like two leagues, one that consists of teams that play for titles and one for teams that merely play.

But the comparison falls flat. Read more

Watch Out ESPN: CBS Rebranding 'CBS College Sports Network' as 'CBS Sports Network'

In something of a surprise move, CBS announced that the CBS College Sports Network will rebrand as the CBS Sports Network starting April 4, 2011.

The network will still focus on college sports at first, but CBS says it expects to expand the content it features down the line. CBS hired former ESPN exec David Berson in December to run the network’s day-to-day operations.

With the rebrand, CBS is planning to more closely leverage its other sports properties with the network, including CBS Sports, Showtime Sports, CBSSports.com and MaxPreps.com.

“The rebranding of CBS College Sports Network to CBS Sports Network is an important step in the evolution of CBS Sports, allowing us to create more programming opportunities and expand our viewer base,” said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus in a statement. “We are excited about extending the CBS Sports brand as we position CBS Sports Network as a destination for all sports fans.”

More information, after the jump.

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Comedy Central Orders Norm Macdonald Sports Show

Comedy Central has given the green light to a weekly sports comedy program hosted by comedian Norm Macdonald, titled, appropriately enough, “Sports Show with Norm Macdonald.”

The program will premiere on Comedy Central in March.

“I’m excited and look forward to doing this series,” said Macdonald in a statement. “On this show, we plan to put the central back in Comedy Central.”

The show is part “Daily Show,” part “Tosh.0 and part “Onion SportsDome,” with Macdonald discussing topical sports issues in front of a live audience.

Comedy Central made a big push into sports earlier this year with the Onion SportsDome. “Sports Show” could be used as a natural partner with SportsDome in Comedy’s primetime lineup.

More information, after the jump.

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Documenting the Recovery of Charlie Davies

Charlie Davies: How They Get Dressed from Chris Floyd on Vimeo.

In October 2009, American soccer star Charlie Davies suffered horrific injuries after being involved in a car accident that killed one young woman. The forward fought back, hoping to make the United States World Cup team. Although he missed out on traveling to South Africa, it was still a remarkable turnaround.

ESPN The Magazine detailed Davies’ impressive recovery in its “Body” Issue. Photographer Chris Floyd who shot the piece posted a video called “How They Get Dressed: Charlie Davies” on his site.

It’s a couple months old, but it’s pretty amazing. And you know what, it’s Friday afternoon. Enjoy.

(H/t The Original Winger)

Does Regis Philbin have a new gig in South Bend?

Outgoing LIVE co-host Regis Philbin and NBC Sports & Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol were among the honorees at the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards dinner last night at the NATPE conference here in Miami Beach.

This morning, during a Q&A with Broadcasting & Cable editor Ben Grossman, Philbin, a Fighting Irish fan and 1953 graduate of Notre Dame, said he’d gotten a job offer — of sorts — from Ebersol.

“Ebersol came up to me last night and said, ‘You know what would be fun for you, to be the analyst on the sidelines of the Notre Dame football games that we carry on NBC.’”

Regis’s response: “I love it.”

We’ll let you know if it comes to pass.

> Related: Regis Philbin on Keith Olbermann: “I don’t think he’d get along with Gelman for 10 minutes”

Brent Musburger Will Tone It Down For BCS Game

If Brent Musburger appears quieter than usual tonight during the BCS National Championship game on ESPN, it’s intentional.

“I’ll be quieter than usual, won’t try to over talk,” Musburger told USA Today. “I know they’ll be some people who, believe it or not, won’t know where Auburn is, so we’ll mention it. But I think the bigger the game, the less you need an announcer. I’ll just let people enjoy it.”

That doesn’t mean Musburger will shy away from discussing the allegations surrounding Heisman Trophy winner and Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. Read more

NHL Winter Classic Moved To 8 p.m. ET

The National Hockey League announced on Friday afternoon that the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will move from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m ET on Saturday night.

The decision to move the game back was based on the latest meteorological reports, which show an approaching front of potentially steady rain expected to fall through the afternoon and taper off by early evening.

As a result of the rain, there are a number of weather-related game procedure contingencies for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Read more

What Would Red Auerbach Say?


Italian soccer team Juventus has its very own set of cheerleaders. Red wouldn’t be happy.

(H/T Soccer By Ives)

Tashard Choice Snags Michael Vick Autograph On Air

Tashard Choice found out the hard way that the cameras are always rolling.

After his Dallas Cowboys lost 30-27 to the Philadelphia Eagles, the NBC cameras caught Choice asking Michael Vick for an autograph.

Players asking other players for autograph isn’t out of the ordinary. Getting caught on national television is though.

“That’s probably the first time that’s ever happened to me,” Vick said of an opposing player’s request after a game. “But [Choice] is a great guy. It doesn’t surprise me.” Read more

Would You Kiss Your Mother With That Mouth, Craig Laughlin?

Washington Capitals color analyst Craig Laughlin wasn’t too impressed with Mike Santorelli‘s goal on Thursday night.

Next time Craig, tell us how you really feel.

(H/T The Big Lead)

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