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Wilbon, Breen Receive Basketball’s Gowdy Award

Michael Wilbon and Mike Breen were named the 2020 Curt Gowdy Media Award winners by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Also announced during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend were two newly created honors.

The Transformative Media Award went to TNT’s Inside the NBA, which stars Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and host Ernie Johnson. The show is marking its 30th year on TV.

The award goes to an individual or organization that has dramatically changed the format, presentation or enjoyment of the coverage of basketball through the use of traditional or emerging media.

“I think we try to show an appreciation for the game. When you work with those three, there's not a situation that comes up in a game that they haven't been ready for,” said Johnson after the show won the award.

“At the same time, Charles broke the mold for studio shows and changed the landscape by saying, we don't always have to talk about basketball. We're able to branch out,” Johnson added. “So it's a basketball show that's mostly about basketball, but there are times when it's not, and we have the freedom and we are encouraged to put that in the show. It's been that kind of a road for 30 years, and to be here today and have the Hall recognize the show, I can't thank you enough.”

Inside the NBA was inducted into the Broadcasting+Cable Hall of Fame in 2016.

Jim Gray was given the first Insight Media Award for an individual or organization that has consistently probed into the salient issues of brought a unique, provoking and no-traditional perspective to fans, participants and consumers of sporting news. Gray has covered the NBA on ABC, CBS, NBC and ESPN.

“It means a great deal. Being in the Hall with all of these great athletes, I have to give thanks to all the great athletes, Gray said.

Wilbon, a fixture on ESPN and co-host of the network’s Pardon the Interruption, was honored as a print journalist for the Washington Post, where he was a sports reporter and columnist from 1990 to 2010. He joined ESPN in 2010.

Wilbon was on the air when the award was announced.

Breen has broadcast NBA games for 28 seasons, beginning with the New York Knicks on WFAN radio in 1992. Breen serves as the lead announcer for the Knicks on the MSG Network, working with NBA Hall of Famer Walt “Clyde” Frazier. He also is the lead play-by-play announcer for the NBA on ESPN and ABC and covers the NBA Finals.

“To me, the job broadcasting these amazing players is the ultimate reward. Some of these gentlemen, some in the stands here, I always thought it was a privilege just to be calling their game. To get an award for it is overwhelming,” said Breen.