TNT will let former pro basketball players suit up to handle commentary roles for the network’s new Monday night lineup of live NBA game telecasts beginning next month.
The Players Only 10-game package of games airing over five consecutive Monday nights beginning Feb. 27 will feature ex NBA and WNBA players in traditional play-by-play, studio host and reporter positions, according to network officials. The play-by-play lineup for the doubleheader telecasts will include former players Brent Barry, Derek Fisher and Grant Hill for one game and Kevin McHale, Richard Hamilton and Greg Anthony for the second telecast.
Former WNBA star Lisa Leslie and ex-NBA player Dennis Scott will be featured as sideline reporters during the games. In-studio coverage of the games will be anchored by Chris Webber, Isiah Thomas and Baron Davis, according to the network.
“Our new Players Only franchise will allow us to provide a unique and compelling narrative surrounding the game through the distinct perspective and collective experiences of the former NBA player,” said Craig Barry, Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer, Turner Sports in a statement. “We believe this original approach will offer deeper insights into the game, both on and off the court, along with broader access that will be entertaining for our passionate fans.”
TNT’s Players Only game schedule is as follows:
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.