NBA Talk: Shows to Look Out For

A preseason, an 82 games full regular season and a grueling post season playoff makes up a typical NBA season. The 82-game schedule for 6 months enables each franchise team to play an average of 3 games a week, with games scheduled even on Christmas Day. The ordeal comes to an end in April only to be followed by the Playoffs. There are many who would like to indulge more, dig a little deeper and better understand not just the games but the organisational functioning too. After all that is why sports news and analysis exits, be it for the daily updates  you need or the critical advice so as to maintain one’s fantasy raking or even if it’s only for entertainment.

Here are a few Basketball Analysis and Talk Shows you can catch on your TV’s or on the internet for your daily fix.

First Take

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First Take is an American morning sports talk show. It airs on ESPN and can be viewed via YouTube on their channel. They also have their own podcast of the same.  It stars the enigmatic Steven A. Smith alongside Max Kellerman with host Molly Qerim. Arguably the best talk show out there, the program is all substance and provides a holistic debate on NBA matters. Steven A’s cache alone is enough to draw interests as his bona fide ties within the NBA community makes the show a must watch. First Take also has regular guest debaters like Magic Johnson, Spike Lee, Shaquille O’ Neil and many more. The brutal and uncompromising nature of the journalistic savant Steven A. Smith going up against the logically coherent and intellectually sound Max Kellerman demands attention and certainly a fun filled take on the NBA, be it the sport itself or the politics involved.

Skip and Shannon: Undisputed

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The original First Take debater Skip Bayless left his peer Steven A. Smith to pursue another show alongside Shannon Sharp to bring Undisputed.  Anyone who was able to hold his own against Steven A. definitely cannot be looked over. Known for his passion for the San Antonio Spurs, he is a master of breaking down franchise systems and player personalities. He is infamous for making bold claims and generating controversial statements (specially his harsh criticism of LeBron James). It is a joy to see him stand up to Shannon Sharp, a strong LeBron advocate. Although the show is relatively new, it would be irrational to doubt its credibility. Shannon Sharp is a master orator and a powerful figure in his own right. Chris Broussard can often be seen on the desk along the other two. His resume alone should entice basketball fanatics to tune into the Fox Network or to their podcast.

Inside the NBA

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Inside the NBA is the studio pre-game talk show of the Association’s undertaking of NBA on TNT produced by Turner Sports. The program is hosted by long time commentator Ernie Johnson with an established star studded cast of Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. Last year saw the addition of Kevin Garnett and rumors are afloat of the possibility of Chris Bosch joining in some capacity.  Inside the NBA is particularly known for its chemistry between its analysts and the humor that ensues. The show becomes particularly active starting the mid-season. It dedicates most during the later part of the season and especially on the playoffs and the finals. It offers a unique standpoint on their takes since the show emphasizes on analysis based on a retired player‘s perspective. Instead of journalists breaking down each segment, we have hall-of-fame players doing so. The show is also filled with extremely popular segments. ‘Shaqtin’-a-fool’ has garnered immense fan following along with others like ‘Area 21’, ‘E.J’s Neat-O Stat of the Night’ and ‘Who he play for?’. Charles Barkley rallies strong points and is often known for amusing banters and antics which have garnered the show immense fame and multiple Emmy wins.

The Starters

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The most fun filled and creative entry on the list, the Starters is a more upbeat and unconventional program that one can catch on NBA TV or on YouTube. They have a ton of activities each day with a general podcast available on iTunes and a separate twitter podcast to go along with their blog. Earlier known as the Basketball Jones, the cast of J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Trey Kerby and Leigh Ellis to offer a fresh satirical perspective as the NBA season progresses. They have an interesting format wherein they have activities or games through which they debate and deliberate on various topics. They offer special fantasy advice, have personal player interactions and are known for having embraced the online realm, specially twitter. Some of the segments include: ‘Is this News?’, ‘101 Pre-Season Burning Questions’, ‘Crossfire’, ‘The meme team’ and a whole lot more. The standout for this show is definitely the fact that due to their more upbeat and alternative nature, they tend to cover topics that major networks fail to identify.

The Herd with Colin Cowherd

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It is highly recommended to try Colin Cowherds daily radio show ‘The Heard’. He has a masterful command on facts and figures and directly links to conclusions based on logical deliberation. Colin Cowherd presents less opinionated discussions and puts forth specifics and statements and was the winner of ‘Radio personality of the year’. He runs a regular piece called ‘The Best Thing I Heard This Week’ co-hosted by Kristine Leahy or Joy Taylor, where he discusses the most happening news of the week be it a buzz or a tweet he knows and covers it all with superior reportage. All-in-all the show will enable you to get your facts straight and will compel you to take a second look at your assumptions and beliefs about the basketball world. You can also lookup ‘Speak for Yourself’ which again features Colin Cowherd along with a competent cast.

And if you’re still hungry for more, there’s a plethora of shows that you can still explore. The recent endeavor of Chris Broussard’s new podcast- ‘In the Zone with Chris Broussard’ is full of authentic information as Broussard works closely with NBA executives and has knowledge of the inner workings of the league. Other shows worth mentioning would be ‘The Jump’ which regularly entertains the likes of Chauncey Billups and Tracy McGrady along with the man with the man who knows all- Marc Stein. ‘NBA Inside Stuff’ is another show conducted by Kristen Ledlow and Grant Hill. They offer behind the scenes NBA stories and present fundamentals and daily routines of basketball as it pertains to the NBA.

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