TNT has a new Monday night NBA package this season, which debuted earlier this week on Martin Luther King Day. The Big Lead has learned that Turner will conduct a five-week experiment with announcing and studio crews comprised entirely of former players beginning after the All-Star break, on Monday, Feb. 27. Appropriately, the title will be Players Only. A formal announcement is expected later this week.
A highly placed source with knowledge of Turner’s plans tells The Big Lead that these will be the crews:
- Game 1: Greg Anthony, Kevin McHale, Richard Hamilton
- Game 2: Brent Barry, Grant Hill, Derek Fisher
- Sideline Reporters: Dennis Scott and Lisa Leslie
- Studio: Chris Webber, Isiah Thomas, Baron Davis
On those crews, Greg Anthony and Brent Barry will serve as the hosts and call the action. Chris Webber will be the studio host. Additionally, Kevin Garnett, who has contributed to TNT’s studio coverage with his Area 21 segments this season, will also be involved with the studio show.
Unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter, the source requested anonymity. A Turner spokesperson declined to comment.
This is going to be a very interesting experiment for Turner. It does run the risk of being disorienting at first. We have all grown up with a traditional play-by-play person on games and hosts in studio.
But, Turner has taken a lot of risks and tried new approaches with its NBA package before — notably, Inside the NBA transformed aspirations for sports studio shows — and even if this attempt at innovation does not pan out, it’s something they are trying for 10 games and would hardly be the end of the world.
These are the games that comprise this package (all times ET):
Monday, Feb. 27
Toronto vs. New York
Indiana vs. Houston
Monday, March 6
Indiana vs. Charlotte
Boston vs. LA Clippers
Monday, March 13
Atlanta vs. San Antonio
L.A. Lakers vs. Denver
Monday, March 20
Golden State vs. Oklahoma City
New York vs. LA Clippers
Monday, March 27
Cleveland vs. San Antonio
New Orleans vs. Utah