When it comes down to it you only have three choices of where to get your NBA fix (only two really depending on the day). You have old reliable TNT, you have NBA TV, and you have the conglomerate monster that is Disney (ABC/ESPN). So let's see.....where should we start? Let's go with TNT first.
What you know: As you know you get your TNT games on Thursdays except for tonight which gives you two openers in Bulls@Heat and Suns@Lakers. Also none of your main players have changed. Your announcing team is Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, and Doug Collins. I personally hate Doug Collins, but I guess he could be worse. Marv works best out of a three-man setup and Steve Kerr provides some decent insight.
Your In-Studio team is still there as well. Charles and Kenny are the controlled chaos who are perfectly steered by Ernie Johnson Jr. In fact I think no one does it better than EJ.
What you don't or may not know: Ernie has been battling Cancer this entire offseason and is completely bald which should help him fit right back in with The Jet and Chuck. He says he's "Feeling Great and ready to start the season". I think TNT did a great job of giving him the off-season to receive treatment and is doing an even greater job by giving him his job back.
TNT pays $2.2 billion over 6 years for the right to broadcast NBA games on Thursday. Their current deal is up at the end of next season.
TNT has arguably succeeded for one reason in my eyes. They gave Marv Albert a second chance. After he was fired from NBC for *ahem* the alleged repeated biting of a female sex partner.
TNT's playoff coverage, nicknamed 40 Games in 40 Nights, is entering its 19th year.
Your other players:
Sideline Reporters: David Alrdridge, Craig Sager, Charles Davis, and THE Cheryl Mill
Backup Analysts and Lead Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Gary Bender, Dick Stockton, Rex Chapman, PJ Carlesimo, Mike Fratello, Reggie Miller, and THE John Thompson
Your TNT Haiku:
Chuckie and the Jet
Marv Albert Likes to bite Hard
Thank You for Ernie
Why TNT has it right: Unlike Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver -- ex-jocks turned baseball announcers Barkley and Smith don't take themselves a fraction as seriously. They have fun and there isn't the need to yell over top of each other to prove a point (*ahem* ESPN).
What you know: NBA TV Broadcasts games four nights a week (usually Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday)
What you don't or may not know: NBA TV broadcasters include Andre Aldridge, Rick Kamla, Gary Apple, Fred "Mad Dog" Carter, Gail Goodrich and Bruce Beck.
The channel also shows international games, typically on Saturday evenings, with special emphasis on the Euroleague and the Maccabi Tel Aviv team from Israel. In April 2005, the channel televised the Chinese Basketball Association finals for the first time.
Your other players: It also features random crap from New York area journalists Peter Vecsey and Frank Isola.
Your NBA TV Haiku:
Every Possible Game
Need Loan to Pay Bill
Why NBA TV has it kind of right: They appeal to the hardcore basketball fan. They show overseas game and have content throughout the day. The announcers they have are up and comers or looked over talent and that's all they can really afford.
Buuuuuut. The shiz is expensive, and you don't really even get to watch the daily features.
All in all these two are (surprise!) the more tolerable of the three. Can you guess which program is the worst????? Of course it's ESPN! And you'll get the full profile tomorrow.