People are pretty happy that TNT’s “Players Only” broadcast has been scrapped for the upcoming 2019-20 NBA season. It was a curious marketing tactic, one that employed several former players that didn’t appear to have the broadcasting chops necessary to move a national TV broadcast along.
Now TNT is heading in another direction, and that includes the recent reported hiring of ESPN’s Stan Van Gundy.
The former Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons coach has been part of ESPN’s broadcast team since September of 2018. Now Van Gundy is on the move, and will presumably be a bigger part of the talent pool at TNT.
Via Andrew Marchand:
Van Gundy’s addition could have long-term implications for Turner’s top games. For its marquee event, the conference finals, Turner typically goes with a three-man booth.
In the recent past, it has been Chris Webber and Reggie Miller joining Marv Albert. It is easy to imagine that Turner may want a coach and a player combo in the future.
This is great news for folks who want more coaching-centric views in the broadcast booth. Ex-players, unfortunately, seem to skew toward the anecdotal rather than the evidential. Coaches aren’t exactly batting 1.000 as announcers, but Van Gundy should be an upgrade from Players Only.
Plus, with brother Jeff Van Gundy on the call for ESPN, now we can have dueling back-and-forth nights of Van Gundy vs. Van Gundy.