Yao's Impact Shouldn't be Underestimated

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is set to retire tomorrow at a press conference in Shanghai. Yao's career was cut short by injuries and he never fully reached his potential as a dominant big man on the basketball court. His skill and touch for a man his size was remarkable though.


Even though Yao fell short on the hardwood, his impact for the NBA was as great as any player who has ever played in the league other than possibly Michael Jordan. Yao opened the gates for the NBA into Asia and introduced billions of new fans to the league. Today, the NBA has offices in China and the league takes players on annual trips through Asia each offseason. Shoe companies have seized the opportunity to promote NBA players in China. And broadcast rights for Asia are a very lucrative source of income for the NBA.

I had the pleasure of spending a few days with Yao Ming in China during the Fall of 2007 when he and Steve Nash hosted a charity fundraiser that featured several other NBA stars including Carmelo Anthony and Baron Davis. I saw first hand the love the people of China have for their gentle giant and the pride they have for the man who has given so generously to charity over the years. Yao is a soft spoken man with an underrated sense of humor. He is widely respected by his NBA peers.

On Wednesday he will announce the end to his playing career, but I have a feeling Yao will continue to be an ambassador for the NBA and the game of basketball. Billions of children in China are playing the game of basketball today because of Yao - that is quite a legacy.

Want to play golf with me and KGW-TV morning personality Drew Carney at Pumpkin Ridge? Here's How you Can.....

As some of you may know, I am a proud Board member of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Ronald McDonald Houses serve as a home away from home for families of seriously and terminally ill children. RMHC is a fantastic charity.

On Monday, July 18th I'll be hitting the golf links at the world class Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge here in Oregon. The course has hosted the U.S. Women's Open and was site to Tiger Woods' incredible U.S. Amateur Championship.

Mike Rich (Hollywood Screenwriter) will once again host the RMHC golf tournament and will highlight his recent big screen success "Secretariat". Mike and several of his Hollywood friends will be out at Pumpkin Ridge teeing it up to raise money for a great cause.

Joining me on the links will be KGW-TV morning TV personality Drew Carney as well as his cameraman we lovingly refer to as "Camera Steve".

We need a 4th player to complete our group and I am selling the final slot to the highest bidder. 100% of the money paid for the final slot in our foursome will go directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and SW Washington.

If you were to buy a spot in our group at face value, it would cost you $500.00. So the minimum bid we'll accept is $500.00.

But we want to raise more money than that for this one-of-a-kind opportunity.

If you want to play golf with me, Drew Carney and Cameraman Steve, email your bid to me at The bidding will run from now until the end of my radio show on Wednesday, July 13th (10am - noon Pacific Time on 750AM The Game in Portland). 

I'll read the winning bidder's name on my radio show on 750AM The Game on Wednesday right before the end of my show at noon. 

I promise we'll entertain and engage whomever purchases the spot in our foursome for Monday, July 18th at Pumpkin Ridge. It will be a day you won't soon forget! And its for a great cause.

Let the bidding begin!

Changes to the College Sports Landscape Forthcoming?


The dust clouds are beginning to settle in Columbus…sort of. And as the media, lawyers, and the NCAA continue to sift through the remains, more ugly revelations seem to surface daily regarding the once proud and now spiraling OSU football program.

As a Michigan alum who possesses the requisite Maize n’ Blue disdain for “that school in Ohio,” I’m somewhat biased in judging their actions. So I will avoid doing so – though I could, gleefully – and fast-forward to the ancillary discourse that has resulted from “Columbus Ink.”

New & Exciting Daily Radio Show Launching on 750AM The Game Portland

I am excited to announce that I will be hosting a new daily show on 750AM The Game in Portland. The show will be called The Sports Insider with Brian Berger and will air Monday through Friday from 10:00am - noon Pacific Time.

I will continue to host the nationally syndicated Sports Business Radio and SBR will continue to air each weekend on the Sports Byline Broadcast network out of San Francisco. We'll also continue to podcast SBR on iTunes.

The Sports Insider will allow me the opportunity to broadcast a live and local show each weekday and I am very excited about the opportunity to mingle with listeners.

Much like Sports Business Radio, I will continue to do a smart, sophisticated show that makes you think. I will also bring listeners my conversations with BIG name guests and the key decision makers in the world of sports. Finally, I will offer a mix of local and national news on my show. 

750AM The Game in Portland is a terrific station and is the radio home to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, Portland Timbers and Seattle Seahawks so there will be plenty of conversation around those teams.

I am grateful to Brian Jennings and Bob Proffitt at Alpha Broadcasting for this new and exciting opportunity.

If you want to listen to The Sports Insider, tune in to 750AM The Game in Portland or listen online here.

Podcasts of interviews with Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan and NBA agent Bill Duffy

I caught up today with Portland Trail Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan and NBA agent Bill Duffy today on The Game 750AM in Portland.

We discussed Greg Oden's future, the NBA Draft and I asked Duffy about an NBA lockout. His answer was fascinating so make sure to pay special attention to what he said.

Listen to my conversation with Chad Buchanan by clicking here.

Listen to my conversation with Bill Duffy, President of BDA Sports by clicking here.

AUDIO ON DEMAND: Seattle Seahawks head football coach Pete Carroll

If you missed my conversation with Seattle Seahawks head football coach Pete Carroll on Sports Business Radio, you can listen to it ON DEMAND by clicking here and then playing the Pete Carroll interview.

Coach Carroll discussed why the Seahawks situation was the perfect lure back to the NFL and he also discussed how he and his staff are preparing for the upcoming NFL season in the midst of a lockout.

He's insightful and candid so make sure you take a listen.

AUDIO ON DEMAND: Sacramento Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof on Sports Business Radio

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Sacramento Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof. I always enjoy our conversations when he joins me on Sports Business Radio.

Maloof gave us terrific insight regarding why his family decided to keep the Kings in Sacramento for at least one more season instead of relocating the team to Anaheim.  Gavin also shared with me what his family is looking for from the City of Sacramento in order to keep the team in Sacramento for the long term.

But the highlight of the interview for me comes towards the end of our conversation when Maloof discusses the lucky charm that the Kings will be taking to the NBA Draft lottery on May 17th. Its a very funny story so make sure to pay particularly close attention to that portion of our conversation.

Listen to my conversation with Gavin Maloof by clicking here.

AUDIO ON DEMAND: Conversation with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott on SBR

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is a rising star in the world of sports business. In a relatively short amount of time Scott has added 2 teams to the conference, added a championship game in football and now he has orchestrated a $3 billion broadcast and digital rights deal with ESPN/Fox/Pac-12 Network.

Larry Scott joined me on Sports Business Radio to discuss the new broadcast and digital rights deal as well as future plans for the confernece.

Listen to our conversation by clicking here.

Breaking down the Finances of the Pac-12 TV deal

As you've probably heard, the Pac-12 recently inked a lucrative 12-year TV deal with ESPN and Fox that is worth $3 billion dollars.

Rachel Bachman of The Oregonian joined me on Sports Business Radio to break down the new deal and discuss how the money will be spent.

Listen to our conversation here.



I may be in the minority, but consider me excited to fork over $64.99 Saturday night to watch the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight on Showtime PPV. Of course, I’m not thrilled about the steep price, but I am excited for the fight itself – or at least what it represents.

No, this is not the fight we were hoping to see, and yes, it probably is a sizeable mismatch that will result in the younger Pacquiao (32 years old) spending the majority of the fight applying continuous pressure to the older Mosley (39 years old). But still, anytime Pacquiao enters the ring the sport of boxing takes considerable strides back towards its once prideful status. 

No fan can pretend that boxing hasn’t drastically fallen down the rungs of the sports popularity ladder over the last several decades – actually precisely at the moment Mike Tyson infamously flashed a smile and a pair of handcuffs to the camera on his way from the ring to the cell. And since then, guys like Evander Holyfield and Oscar De La Hoya just have not been able to generate the enthusiasm that Ali, Tyson, and the legends before them did. Combine that with shady promoters, confusing weight classes and belt titles, and most importantly the rise of MMA over the past decade, and the result is a second-tier sports status.

Then along came Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach, perhaps one of boxing’s greatest working duos and its best chance to bring the sport back to prominence. Since being introduced to the boxing world following his odds defying and remarkable pounding of De La Hoya in 2008, Pacquiao has seamlessly moved through weight classes and collected titles with ease. And if he continues on this torrid pace and gains another defining win, he may well end up as the greatest fighter of this generation and be remembered as the guy who saved the sport.   

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