Kevin Garnett was a little amped after the Celtics came from 27 points down to beat the Orlando Magic. Really amped. Which made for a great interview on TNT where he asks Craig Sager if he has ever been in a bar fight, then realizing the impossibility of that tells him to ask Charles Barkley what it is like.
Plus, the required compliment of Sager’s suit.
KG had a monster game, looking like himself of five years ago as he defended Dwight Howard for stretches. If Boston coming back to form means more of these interviews, everybody wins.
Video: Shaq sings his intro into TNT, so get ready
Among the many left scrambling without the NBA are television networks that normally would be beaming regular season games into our homes. They have to fill the space and they have to try and keep the advertisers who buy that space happy. National networks like TNT are forced to bring us more how-done-it crime dramas and offer advertisers other options, and regional sports networks are digging into their vaults for historic games.
In the end this will be about the money, eventually the league and teams are going to have to pay some people back. But right now it’s about filling the airtime. Everything is explained well in a New York Times story today.
Big media companies are likely to feel the chill, with months of empty television time that would typically be filled with N.B.A. games. ESPN and ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Company, and Time Warner’s Turner Sports pay a combined $1 billion a season for the rights to games. The N.B.A. drives ratings in the coveted 18- to 34-year-old male demographic that advertisers pay a premium to reach. And it gives cable networks leverage in negotiating carriage fees, or the price cable companies pay in order to offer subscribers a network.
The N.B.A. said on Tuesday that at the end of the current season it would discuss repayment to networks for fees associated with canceled games. If the entire season is wiped out, the league could add an additional year to Turner and Disney’s contract, which runs through the 2016 season….
The lockout could have a disproportionate impact on regional sports networks that rely on a hometown team’s games to bring in viewers and local advertisers. The MSG network, owned by the Madison Square Garden Company, typically has Knicks games three nights a week. It will now rely on shows that mix archival Knicks games with player interviews. MSG will still have live National Hockey League games.
TNT is giving us more “CSI: New York” right now. If they start having to give us a lot more “Leverage” that’s when we will all feel the pain.
Charles Barkley may donate TNT salary as lockout drags on
Charles Barkley likes money. A lot. You really can’t underestimate this. He just doesn’t want to be given money he hasn’t earned. (Insert your own craps table joke here, I’m not going there.)
His contract with TNT as an NBA analyst has him getting paid whether there is a season or not. So while the NBA players will be missing a check for the first two weeks of the regular season, Barkley will get paid.
“I haven’t told anybody, but I’m actually — believe it or not — I’m leaning toward donating it to charity,” Barkley said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “I don’t think it’s cool for me to take money I haven’t earned.
“My decision is either going to be defer it or give it to charity….
“The problem I have is if these guys hold out all season, it’s going to be a lot of money,” Barkley said. “That’s why I have to make that decision. I haven’t made the final decision. I don’t feel comfortable taking money for not working.”
That would be a very charitable move by Barkley, not something everyone would do.
I hope Barkley gets paid some money he feels comfortable keeping because he has to work soon.
TNT makes it official, Shaq will join “Inside the NBA”
Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley at the same desk every Thursday night.
First, that is appointment television. Second, TNT may want to increase its craft services budget (the people who cater food to the set).
TNT made it official Thursday, announcing that Shaquille O’Neal will join the “Inside the NBA” show before and after games on that network (mostly Thursday nights plus some other games and playoffs). Shaq will be on set with Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson and Kenny “the jet” Smith.
Already this is one of the most entertaining — and at moments insightful — television basketball shows out there. Adding another big personality will just improve the product. Frankly, more Shaq and less Magic Johnson is good for television.
The guy I would hate to see get squeezed in all this is Chris Webber — he is the best guy that TNT and NBA TV have working on air. (TNT produces the NBA TV studio shows.) Reports are he will still call games but not be in studio for TNT. Which is a shame. Webber is funny, insightful and I still miss him and Kevin McHale doing NBA TV together, they were fantastic. Just don’t kick the man to the curb.