I don't know what more needs to be said about TNT's coverage of the NBA, but just know that they are better than ESPN in every facet of their coverage. I'm going to try to make this as quick as possible as there's other items to get to today. Feel free to skip it because as I'm just going to be (mostly) praising TNT for the next few paragraphs.
Let's get into it shall we?
Click Here If You Care To Read The ESPN Announcing Preview
The Studio Team:
I did a sort of case study in NBA Broadcasting as my preview last year, which detailed how TNT destroys ESPN in every facet of their Broadcast. Most importantly was having a likable Studio Show that had actual analysis and was somewhat entertaining. So did ESPN listen to me?
Of course not. They now have a Studio Team of Stu Scott, Stephen A. Smith, and Bill Walton. Perhaps the most ridiculous collection of people to discuss Sports this side of the "Sports Reporters".
The only knock on EJ, Kenny, and Charles is that they are very polarizing. You either love them or you hate them with most of the Basketball Community agreeing on the former. They'll have plenty to talk about in the early part of the season especially given Charles' history of gambling and the Donaghy Scandal that took place in the offseason. Charles is also already pissing of an entire city (last year was Oakland/GS) by stating that the Cleveland Cavs won't make the Playoffs.
The Announcing Teams:
Your lead team for this year is Marv Albert and Reggie Miller as Steve Kerr's departure to work for the Suns opened up that door for Miller. Most of you know me as a "Miller Hater", but I've started to come around on him a bit. The main thing he's got going for him is that he's not Mark Jackson, and working with Marv and Mike Fratello will make anyone instantly better. Pairing Miller with the aging Stockton last year was a huuuuuge mistake. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm giving him another chance, but just one.
As far as the backup team.....I have to be honest and say that I have no idea who it is. TNT does an awful job of getting information out and I guess we won't know who's on the call until tonight's night game. I'm positive Doug Collins will be an analyst, but will it be with Dick Stockton, Kevin Harlan, Gary Bender, or someone else. Rex Chapman was also in the mix last year, but I don't know if he's back again this year.
Update: TNT got back to me about the rest of the crews. Team #2 is Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins, "On several select games throughout the season Albert will call games alongside Collins, with Harlan and Miller forming the second broadcasting tandem for TNT’s doubleheaders. Reporting from the sidelines will be Craig Sager, Cheryl Miller and the TNT Insider David Aldridge, while John Thompson will serve as a guest analyst and special contributor."
I'm okay with all of that, but please.....less John Thompson.
The Rest of the Cast:
Again, I'm not sure of who the rest of the players are besides Craig Sager, his loud sport coats, and Cheryl Miller. David Aldridge should be coming back to work sidelines again, and there could always be a Charles "Mangina" Davis sighting as well. God forbid.
2007-2008 NBA Announcing Preview: ESPN (Awful Announcing)
2006-2007 TNT Announcing Preview (Awful Announcing)
(Barkley and Sager Photos via the Screen Grabbingly Awesome Sports Hernia)