To many, NBC’s ‘Inside Stuff’ was a must-watch for NBA fans, as it served a needed purpose in the pre-internet and NBA League Pass days for those looking to see out of area NBA action. With the NBA’s move to ABC/ESPN in 2002, and a relegation to ABC soon after, the Ahmad Rashad-hosted show suffered a stiff decline in viewership. As alluded to above, the program also looked to be anachronistic in an era where most pre-teens (the demographic ‘Inside Stuff’ initially courted) could go online to see the sort of highlight packages the show offered, days before it was broadcast.
After an eight-year hiatus, though, ‘Inside Stuff’ is returning. It’s on NBA TV again, at the familiar noon Eastern Time. In a twist, Rashad will not be involved, replaced by television neophyte Grant Hill, who recently retired after a distinguished if frustrating NBA career.
''You have an opportunity to have some fun, highlight the individuals, their stories, have access to a lot of these great players,'' Hill said in a phone interview. ''Hopefully the audience will enjoy it, too.''
The seven-time All-Star retired after spending last season, his 19th in the NBA, with the Los Angeles Clippers. He will also do some studio work for NBA TV and TNT.
Kristen Ledlow, co-host of an Atlanta sports radio show, will join Hill on ''NBA Inside Stuff.''
In a way, I’m almost disappointed that Hill chose this as his first post-playing outlet. It’s cool that he has the gig, make no mistake, but Hill’s intellect and ability would seem to lend themselves to more stimulating and challenging work – and I’m not just limiting that to the ranks of becoming an NBA executive or coach. It’s understandable that Hill would want to take on a breezier job following what was a draining 19-year NBA career, but lightweight fare on the NBA’s own network seems like a bit of a waste.
It’s his call, though, and with no obvious job prospects on the ready for Hill in a front office or on a bench (though, if pressed, I’m sure 30 out of 30 NBA teams would be ready to hire the man in some capacity) this is a good way for Hill to stay tangentially involved with the league. Even if it means having to sit down to talk to Russell Westbrook about his wacky outfits.
The re-launch of ‘Inside Stuff’ starts on Nov. 2.