Tuesday, May 26th, 2020


“I’m cautiously optimistic. I think there’s a good shot that it could happen.” – Mark Cuban on the NBA’s potential return to play plans in Orlando

“Not only is he the greatest golfer of all time, he is by far the best caddie and green reader ever. You talk about pressure on those putts because he tells you hit it right here and at this speed and it will go in.” – Peyton Manning on golfing with Tiger Woods

“I’ve always wanted to try to give them the opportunity to move forward…This, I think, is a really good thing.” – Redskins head coach Ron Rivera on new rule allowing assistant coaches to interview for a coordinator position without being blocked

“If some schools are unable to play and make that decision, I don’t think that keeps everybody from playing.” – ACC Commissioner John Swofford on if all schools and conference need to be aligned in order to play fall sports 

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to Make Announcement on League’s Return to Play TODAY at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 26, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban
    • Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera
    • ACC Commissioner John Swofford
    • NASCAR driver Chase Briscoe
    • NBC Sports’ Liam McHugh


The Rich Eisen Show followed Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN, as host Rich Eisen was joined by:

    • Two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning
    • NBC Football Night in America analyst Rodney Harrison
    • All Elite Wrestling’s Cody Rhodes
    • NBC’s America Got Talent judge Howie Mandel


Today at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will join Mike Tirico to make a formal announcement regarding NHL’s return to play format for the 2019-20 season as part of a live hour-long special. Click here for more information.

Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Mark Cuban on potential plans to restart the NBA season in Orlando: “I’m cautiously optimistic. I think there’s a good shot that it could happen presuming that we’re able to get tests, that tests are accurate enough to meet the safety standards that the league and the Players Association set, and we go from there. I think we’re seeing some successes in other sports and other events and I think we’re on that path.”

Cuban on the importance of having enough testing in a return to play scenario: “The last position we want to be in is taking a test from somebody who needs it, so I think that has to come first, along with accuracy. We’ve got to be good corporate citizens in every community that we’re in. That’s of paramount importance to us.”

Cuban on his playoff proposal for this season: “I want to change things around…I want to experiment. What I proposed was that we extend the playoff format to 10 teams from each conference and play at least five games prior to going into the playoffs…That gives almost every team a chance, when we come back for whatever is going to be left of our regular season, to do something interesting and compete for something. I think we’ve got to change it up some.”

Cuban on potentially starting next season at Christmas time: “Starting Christmas Day now I think really allows us to take more of the focus as the NFL starts to wind down their season and it allows us to go into the summer post-NHL and really have that period of time to ourselves.”

Ron Rivera on the chances of playing an NFL season: “If things continue to trend the right way, we continue to develop and learn more and more about the situation and circumstances, understand what’s expected of us in terms of how we have to act and behave, I think we can hopefully get ourselves back to that position (to play).”

Rivera on his plan to reshape the Redskins: “We want to try to develop a sustainable winning culture…Andy Reid, coach (Bill) Belichick, those guys come to mind immediately because they’ve done it for so long and have been able to sustain success for so long. We’d love to be able to mimic that here in Washington.”

Rivera on new rule allowing assistant coaches to interview for any coordinator position without being blocked: “I think that’s great. I’ve lost a number of assistants to jobs where they’ve gotten the opportunity to move up and it’s hard…I’ve always wanted to try to give them the opportunity to move forward…The only way guys get chances to go up is if they can take the next opportunity to go up instead of having to wait, wait, wait. So, this, I think, is a really good thing.”

Rivera on second overall pick Chase Young: “You build your team from up front — offensive line and defensive line. I think those are probably the two most important things. We really felt strong about the opportunity to improve our football team that way…The impact of choosing Chase as our number one pick really just is very helpful.”

Rivera on QB Alex Smith’s recovery: “In getting to know who he is, I don’t doubt him…He’s got to be able to protect himself out on the football field before anything could happen, before we could allow him back on the field.”

John Swofford on if all conferences must be in alignment to play fall sports: “I wouldn’t make any predictions yet because I think it’s just too soon to know, but if some schools are unable to play and make that decision, I don’t think that keeps everybody from playing. Everything is still on the table at this point.”

Swofford on if all ACC schools must be able to play in order to have a season: “I think it’s likely that if most can play — we haven’t made this decision yet, so I’m giving you a personal opinion at this point — but I would think if half or most of our schools can play and want to play, that we would make every effort to do that…Right now, my best read on our league is that people are generally very unified in their approach to this, but again, a lot can happen over the next few months.”

Swofford on campuses opening: “Some progress is being made with decisions about opening campuses in the fall, because I think it starts with that. We are intercollegiate athletics and our athletes are students, so what happens institutionally needs to happen first and then we follow.”

Swofford on potentially having fans at games: “During the course of the summer before we play, I think we’ll learn some things from the professional leagues who will start playing before we do. That can be fortuitous for intercollegiate athletics…We’ll have our eye very closely on what goes on in professional sports.”

Chase Briscoe on winning Thursday’s Xfinity Series race at Darlington on Thursday and then hitting the wall in last night’s race: “That’s just how racing — any sport — can be. One week you can have everything go your way, and the next week nothing goes your way.”

Briscoe on winning last Thursday’s race after he and his wife lost their unborn child earlier in the week: “I knew that I was always going to get back into the racecar…but I didn’t know really where my head was going to be or how my emotions were going to be, and honestly, they were a lot worse than I anticipated. The last 50 laps, I had taken the lead with around 50 or 60 to go and my head was just all over the place…I just felt all of those emotions riding on my shoulders…To get the win, you couldn’t ask for a better story.”

Briscoe on his emotions during Thursday’s win: “Those last eight or nine laps specifically, I don’t really even remember them…With 50 (laps) to go, I was in tears driving the racecar. I was not even thinking about what was going on…It was definitely meant to be that day.”

Liam McHugh on the NHL’s return to play announcement planned for this afternoon: “It’s a positive step forward. It would appear that at least part of this announcement is going to go into the idea that there will be a 24-team playoff and that’s the agreement…Now phase two is getting some players back into the facility in small groups.”

McHugh on next steps for the NHL: “It’s complicated, so in many ways while there was a negotiation and 29 teams agreed to the 24-team playoff, this idea that that’s the biggest hurdle is just not true.”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Peyton Manning on competing in Sunday’s golf event, “The Match”: “What a great seat Tom (Brady) and I had watching Phil (Mickelson) and Tiger (Woods) do their thing and $20 million (for COVID-19 relief), that was the real winner. That’s real money that is going to get to some organizations who are helping out people who need it.”

Manning on the weather in “The Match”: “I was pretty nervous just thinking about playing in perfect weather, much less playing in the rain…Maybe in some ways it kind of helped relax a little bit because your expectations kind of lower a little at that point.”

Manning on his comfort level on Sunday: “Both (Brady) and I were out of our comfort zone the entire time. I never felt comfortable one time the entire day until it was probably over. But I was certainly glad we did it.”

Manning on comparing golf to football: “You can try harder in football and I think it can work for you. In golf, it almost works the opposite way. The harder you strain, stretch, grind, sometimes the worse you play…It is just different and when you are out of your comfort zone it makes it even harder.”

Manning on asking Tiger for advice: “I didn’t ask for a whole lot of advice just because he is just different. The way he hits the ball is not really something I can relate too, much less anybody. In the alternate shot you certainly feel a little responsibility to your teammate. You want to lead your receiver right, you don’t want to hang him out.”

Manning on playing with Tiger Woods: “I hit a drive, so Tiger was going to be two-under and 290 yards out and he was like, ‘I got this, I got this.’…It’s just not something I am used to hearing in my normal golf game, but that is kind of when you know you are playing with the best in the world…Not only is he the greatest golfer of all time, he is by far the best caddie and green reader ever. You talk about pressure on those putts because he tells you hit it right here and at this speed and it will go in.”

Manning on his 2007 SNL appearance, which airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN: “I wasn’t really nervous because it was live, and I was used to doing live and used to probably screwing up live a lot on Sunday afternoons. But you also do have a week to prepare and rehearsal.”

Manning on the possibility of becoming a broadcaster: “I haven’t said no forever. I have said no to this year. This doesn’t feel like the right time.”

Rodney Harrison on Dak Prescott: “I think he is a Top 10 quarterback in this league…He understands his value and, as a player, regardless of what the owners say, you always have to understand and respect your own value because if you don’t, no one else will…I think he deserves the money.”

Harrison on the best team in the NFC South: “I would say the Saints at this point…That system is in play and that defense is going to continue to get better.”

Harrison on Cam Newton remaining a free agent: “(It’s) because no one knows what it is going on with Cam as far as, can you depend on him with his health?…At this point in time, you can’t invest a lot of money because he has been so beat up…I don’t think he is going to be a starting quarterback this year in the National Football League.”

Harrison on Peyton Manning and Tom Brady’s golf game in “The Match”: “I was so disappointed in their golfing…(Tom Brady) had one good, quality shot.”

Howie Mandel on Sunday’s “The Match”: “Exciting and boring at the same time. It was a blend of exciting because you want to see live sports, but it gave me new ideas because I also produce on the side and I want to see LeBron (James) lawn bowling.”

Mandel on attending the Tyson vs. Holyfield II fight: “That was the scariest night ever in my sports activities life. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”