On Monday, we told you that TNT would bring their studio set inside Miami’s America Airlines Arena for their coverage of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals. The move was made after Miami Heat fans outside the arena disrupted TNT’s Game 3 postgame show by shouting obscenities and throwing towels at Charles Barkley. I thought it was a wise decision to relocate the studio show. There’s no reason the television audience needs to hear profanity laced chants. As much as I’d love to see Barkley sock one of those over-tanned, over-served Miami fans, the last thing TNT wanted was for a brawl to break out on national television.
Last night, as Game 4 was winding down, Heat fans were all over Barkley again. I don’t know how much sense it makes for a crowd to celebrate a huge overtime win and a 3-1 series lead by cursing out a studio analyst, but, that’s what they did. It was a little ridiculous and kudos to Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller and the TNT production crew for having some fun with it.
Other networks might have ignored the inappropriate chants, but TNT understood the levity of the moment and gave it a little play. Considering the game was wrapped up, it was the smart thing to do. Now, if TNT were really smart, they would yank Miller out of the booth and just go with the two-man team of Albert and Kerr. If they did that, they would at least keep us from having to yell obscenities while watching the game.
Bob Bender writes about the sports media at Press Box Daily and is the Supervisor of Sports Production at Westwood One Radio.