I just wanted to take a moment to talk about the NBA broadcast on TNT. It’s the playoffs, so I feel it’s appropriate to assess and discuss the sort of program TNT is presenting during these primetime moments.
The crew, which includes Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Kenny “The Jet” Smith, provide coverage and analysis throughout the game, which is about as incoherent as television could get.
Honestly, it’s probably the most entertaining sports coverage on television today, but make no mistake, sports are rarely covered. Most of the programming involves 4 middle-aged men incoherently babbling and insulting each other for sometimes 20 minutes straight. It’s a lot of chuckling, a lot of shameless promotion, and a whole lot of confusion.
Seriously, the producers must be biting their fingernails during every broadcast.
The Knicks and Pacers Game 5 highlights went something along the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing… terribly…):
Ernie Johnson : And the Knicks lead by 2 at halftime…. Kenny your thoughts?
Kenny The Jet : The Knicks look alright. It really just comes down to the effort of your players and-
Charles Barkley : Aye, lemme tell you something… if Melo come out on fire like he’s s’posed to be doing, they gon’ be alright…. (immediate transition of subjects) Craig Sager suit look like the damn emergency broadcast system done went offffff.
Shaq : I like that suit. He dressed sharp. (Then Shaq makes a poor joke to emulate Charles Barkley, no one laughs, there’s an awkward silence, and Ernie chimes back in to move the segment along)
Then that process is repeated for about 30 minutes before, during, and after the game. It’s high comedy. Please, allow me to demonstrate: