ESPN's newest NBA Countdown host might not have the same basketball resume as Magic Johnson, but she'll hopefully bring a great deal of insight to the table.
According to an official press release from ESPN.com, Sage Steele will be hosting the show alongside Doug Collins, Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons. As the SportsCenter anchor said:
I'm thrilled to continue my career at ESPN and to embark on this exciting, new challenge. I love the NBA, and like millions of other fans, I'm looking forward to the season tipoff and to guiding some great discussion from our expert analysts.
Her role on the show has not yet been explicitly confirmed, but based on that statement, it seems as though she'll become ESPN's Ernie Johnson.
Johnson serves as the host for NBA on TNT, and it's often his job to make sure that the discussion is properly guided. He often contributes, but he also makes sure that Charles Barkley doesn't go on too many long-winded tangents and that the team as a whole stays focused.
Thanks to Steele's statement that she'll be "guiding some great discussion," it seems likely that she'll be doing the same thing. Plus, we know she already has a bulk of experience covering the NBA.
She and David Lloyd have long been a popular pairing on SportsCenter, drawing the coveted spot on weekend mornings, and she should bring that same level of professionalism and entertainment to the new gig.
As Andrew Bucholtz of AwfulAnnouncing.com wrote following the addition of Simmons and Rose, which took place before the 2012-13 season debuted, "ESPN went bold last year with the move to Los Angeles for their NBA pregame show and 'hostless' experiment, which was ultimately a failure."
Now they're moving back to a more traditional format.
So, will this help you keep your television tuned into ESPN before NBA games? The show was nowhere near as popular as NBA on TNT last year, after all.