This season, former NBA players compete for an on-air analyst job.
It's a new season for the TV-wannabes known as the contestants for ESPN's "Dream Job." This season, six ex-NBA players of varying degrees of obscurity, compete for a spot as an on-air NBA analyst.
The contestants are: Dee Brown, J.R. Reid, Gerald Wilkins, Matt Bullard, Darryl Dawkins and sixth-man walk-on Dennis Scott.
As usual, the contestants are judged by Woody Paige, Kit Hoover, Stephen A. Smith (SAS) and My Man, Al Jaffe. I'm merely the unofficial "couch judge" for Page 3.
On a normal week, I'd rank the contestants, provide analysis on their highs and lows, and include a snapshot of the judges' commentary. But this is a very special edition. In a nod to Sunday night's Oscars, here are the nominees -- and winners! -- for Week 2's most important "Dream Job" categories:
Winner: None! Wait: Unless the award was to be awarded for, in this order: Lightest Content, Most Muddled Clarity, Stiffest Personality and Forced Interaction. Where's Leo DiCaprio?
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Let's go straight to winner...
Winner: Trey Wingo, who partnered (and, sometimes, put up) with the wannabe-analysts. He was the highlight, for providing a welcome contrast of just how smooth and natural a TV personality can be.
BEST COSTUME (OUTFIT)Dawkins, sporting a brown pinstripe suit
Jaffe, for his bold red tie
Kit, for her sultry off-the-shoulder number
Woody, for his Shaft-esque black leather jacket and black turtleneck
Winner: Woody Paige, who can go clubbing in downtown NYC after "Dream Job" taping anytime.
MOST PRODUCTIVE ADVICE, JUDGE"Specifics!" (Al)
"Make it personal" (Kit)
"Tell us WHY" (Woody)
"More facts!" (Stephen A. Smith)
Winner: Al. If there was an award for talking in vagaries, all six guys could win.
Reid made connections by mentioning that, like Emeka Okafor, he too played in Charlotte as a rookie.
BEST PERSONAL CONNECTION, CONTESTANTBullard, referencing his Rockets title teams' D when comparing to the Pistons
Reid, mentioning that, like Emeka Okafor, he too played in Charlotte as a rookie
Scott, in talking about Shaq, DID NOT mention he played with Shaq in Orlando.
Winner: Reid. He just didn't go far enough with it.
BIGGEST SMACKDOWN, JUDGE"We needed an answer; we never got one." (Stephen A. Smith)
"Darryl: Right string, wrong yo-yo." (Woody)
"You all never brought that weak stuff in the lane? Why tonight?" (Woody)
Winner: Woody, for the string/yo-yo analogy. Darryl Dawkins threw out a bunch of good one-liners, but he needed to limit himself to a single best.
BEST OBSERVATION, ME"Matt Bullard makes me sleepy."
"Dee Brown is so choppy; does the 'D' stand for "Dramamine?"
"If only Dawkins enunciated as well as he dunked."
"Well, J.R. Reid can always fall back on voiceovers."
"Methinks Gerald Wilkins is going bye-bye."
"I think Dennis Scott has lost some weight."
Winner: Oh, how could I pick just one?
BEST PARTING SHOT, JUDGE"As all of you know, athletes sometimes have bad games." (Al)
"Dee, you're the shortest, but I still think you're standing tall." (Woody)
"I want an insider's point of view. Give me something new." (Kit)
"If this was the finale, I'd recommend that ESPN hire none of you all." (SAS)
Winner: Stephen A. No one puts the "brutal" in "brutal honesty" like Mr. Smith. And that's worth the biggest ovation of the night.
BEST EJECTION:Any/all of 'em, really.
Winner (or, maybe, Loser): Gerald Wilkins, who got voted out by all four judges and the fans, voting online.
BEST RANKING OF REMAINING CONTESTANTS:
1. Dennis Scott
2. Dee Brown
3. Darryl Dawkins
4. J.R. Reid
5. Matt Bullard
Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. Every weekday morning, he writes the Daily Quickie for Page
2 and hosts the Morning Quickie on SportsNation (9-10 a.m. ET). This is his third season reviewing ESPN's "Dream Job."