One-On-One with Stephanie Ready
FOX Sports Southeast announced on Aug. 27, 2015 that Stephanie Ready will make the move from the Hornets sidelines to the broadcast booth with Eric Collins and Dell Curry, becoming the first full-time female NBA game analyst. Matt Rochinski of hornets.com caught up with Ready to discuss her historic move.
On making the move to the Hornets broadcast booth:
I am thrilled – I’m over the moon with excitement. When I was a coach and considered getting into television, this was the job that I wanted. This was the reason that I got into sports broadcasting, because I wanted to be a game analyst. Even though I’ve done it all these years – some college games and some NBA games on a fill in basis – this will be the first time I get to focus primarily on the job that I love the most in television. I couldn’t be more excited.
On becoming the first full-time female NBA game analyst:
I’m excited about it. I look back at my career and the careers of other ladies who are in the same industry and I think of Ann Meyers, who is with the Phoenix Suns organization. She’s a vice president there, so she’s on the executive staff but she also is a television analyst. She’s been on their broadcasts for a while, just not on a full-time basis because, as I said, she’s an executive as well. She has proven herself and proven to people out there who might be a little more narrow-minded, that women are perfectly capable of doing the same jobs in this industry that men can do. I love her to pieces and think that she’s been an excellent role model, not just for me, but for others as well. I’m hoping that as these walls start to come down and people start to give women more opportunities in male-dominated fields that the younger generation won’t have those biases and those narrow minds. We’re getting to the point where a whole group of youngsters – both boys and girls – where this is all they know. They’ve seen women doing the same jobs that men do. That’s how they’ve grown up. They don’t know any different and its going to change the way our society views things. I’m excited about this opportunity.
On how the Hornets players, staff and organization as a whole have already been looking at her role differently already and have given her the respect she deserves:
One thing I can say about the entire Hornets organization is that from Day 1 I have been treated with so much respect. I never felt like I had to validate myself to people. They have always respected my knowledge, my abilities and me as a person. That’s so important in this working environment. You hear horror stories all the time about professional athletes, and we don’t have any of those with the Hornets guys. From top to bottom – from the coaching staff, to the basketball operations staff, to the players, everyone has been wonderful to me from the beginning. I know that they’re going to be as excited as I am about this opportunity coming up.
On going to a three-person booth and continuing to work with Dell Curry:
I am so pumped up to be working with Dell more. He and I have worked together on the Hornets Live! show and that’s just a small piece of what we can bring to the table together. I think because we’ve worked together for these seven years, we have a friendship and a chemistry that you can not re-create, and I think that is going to show in the broadcast. The benefit of having two analysts and a three-person booth is that you get different perspectives. There will be times that Dell and I will agree completely, but there will be other times when we’re going to have a different perspective. We may agree on the result but may think the way they got to the result was different. Even though basketball is a game based on statistics, it still is very subjective. You have different coaching styles and players with different skill sets, so people view the game differently. I think its going to be so much fun to have both of our perspectives on the same broadcast. I can’t wait.
On bringing the coaching perspective to things, while Dell brings a player perspective:
There are definitely two different philosophies and Dell isn’t just a player, he’s a shooter. That’s a certain kind of player and he looks at things differently. It’s a lot of fun to have conversations with Dell about basketball because he thinks of things from a shooting perspective that would not have occurred to me. He always can tell when a player is going to get going, when they’re feeding off the defense or exploiting what the defense is giving them. He’s going to offer things - and let’s not ignore the elephant in the room, he raised an NBA MVP (in Steph Curry). He knows what he’s doing. That’s what is so exciting about him. Not only has he been with the Hornets since Day 1, not only was his career fantastic as a former Sixth Man of the Year, but now you’re seeing a second generation of Curry dominate the league, and we can get his perspective on the NBA running the gambit. From the time he played until now, from his experience with his sons and witnessing first hand what is going through, it’s going to be phenomenal this season.
On what she knows about Eric Collins and her excitement to work with him:
Eric and I have spoken. We’ve never worked together in the past, but of course I did my due diligence and called around to find out about him. In this industry, much like in others that are very competitive, it’s hard to find a group of people that will all say nice things about one individual. I have to say that Eric is that individual. Every single person I talked to when I mentioned his name – every single one of them had something wonderful to say about him. That’s astonishing to me because it does not happen in this industry – it does not. And it wasn’t always just about his skills with the microphone either. People talked about him being a wonderful play-by-play guy who can do so many things, that he’s versatile, knows how to get the analysts in the game – which is important when you have two analysts, but they also talked about him as a person. They told me he was a good guy who has two daughters at home, and I have two little munchkins at home, so that’s great. I think the chemistry won’t be an issue. He’s going to come in and we’re all going to look like we’ve been together for years. I’m really excited about it.