Media, NBA, Sports

TNT Is Ditching Play-By-Play For One Game Thursday Night


Marv Albert and Kevin Harlan must be all pooped out from broadcasting the NCAA tournament, because on Thursday night, TNT will debut an unprecedented three-man booth comprised of Chris Webber, Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller — all color analysts. The idea sprang from a conversation between Turner Sports COO Lenny Daniels and Senior VP Craig Barry:

“Lenny and I are always talking that television has always been done the same way for the last 40 or 50 years,” Barry told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “Why not just have a team captain and have three guys who know the game inside and out?

“They are all charismatic, they are all capable of carrying a show, so why not just have them talk basketball?”

Steve Kerr has designated himself the point man — a self-described traffic cop — so the broadcast has some direction. But he also accepts it as another challenge, similar to his experience broadcasting NCAA tournament games:

“One of the reasons I enjoyed doing the NCAA Tournament is that even though it’s still an analyst’s role, it’s still different,” Kerr said. “Different game. Different production. It gets the juices flowing. The butterflies kick in.

“I think Thursday will be the same thing. It will be a different challenge, force me to do some things differently. I think it’s just good to keep yourself moving forward. Hopefully, it will be very entertaining for the listeners.”

The idea of a live, three-man round table during an NBA game is an interesting concept, and it’ll assuredly get more people to tune in for a late season game. But, as long as we’re experimenting with broadcast teams, let’s take it a step further: put Ernie, Kenny and Charles in the booth. Assign the B-squad to the studio for one night (Matt Winer is more than capable of holding down the fort as a host — or, even more fun, Rick Kamla), and let the regular crew create the most hilarious three-man booth of all time. They could do a Bobcats-Hornets game, and it’d still be a ratings monster.

Meanwhile, Shaq can just troll as a sideline reporter. Or a parking lot attendant. I don’t care.