July 10 is going to give us one of the more unusual U.S. basketball broadcasts in a while. NBA TV’s The Starters are going to be doing a nightly recap show from Summer League July 6-10, but on July 10, they’ll also be calling a game:
“The Starters, NBA TV’s collective of fan-focused voices, will offer a 30-minute recap show following each night’s final game from Las Vegas, July 6-10. […] The foursome will also call a Summer League game together on Tuesday, July 10.”
READ THAT LAST SENTENCE.
— J.E. Skeets (@jeskeets) June 26, 2018
This is only during part of NBA TV’s Summer League coverage, as the channel will start with five Summer League telecasts from Sacramento and five more from Utah during the July 2-5 span, and it will also have further games from Vegas through the 14th. 36 of the games from Vegas will be shown in all. But it’s pretty interesting to see NBA TV featuring The Starters as a featured part of their Summer League coverage, and especially to see them on a game broadcast. Here’s more on that from the NBA TV release:
The latest news and player movement from the league’s free agency period will also be featured during daily studio coverage. The Starters, NBA TV’s collective of fan-focused voices, will offer a 30-minute recap show following each night’s final game from Las Vegas, July 6-10. Co-hosts J.E. Skeets and Tas Melas and contributors Trey Kerby and Leigh Ellis will offer nightly highlights, news and information, along with interviews with players and coaches. The foursome will also call a Summer League game together on Tuesday, July 10. The network’s signature studio show, NBA GameTime, will feature live episodes following each day’s last game of the night, July 11-17.
The Starters‘ cast has long been known for their humor over the course of their 1,000-plus episodes on NBA TV (and their time as The Basketball Jones before that), and it will be interesting to see how they bring that to a game broadcast. The nightly show will be more usual for them, as they already do a daily NBA show, but it will be interesting to see that with maybe more of a highlights focus. Here’s a recent example of what their show looks like (from Friday) for those unfamiliar. (Its 130,000+ views, not unusual for a Starters‘ show on YouTube, helps to illustrate their popularity and why NBA TV is trying this.)
Summer League’s definitely the place to try this out, where the results aren’t all that important and where an unconventional broadcast is likely to get less backlash. And a Starters broadcast could be really cool if done well, and might bring in an audience of NBA fans that wouldn’t normally watch much Summer League. But for those looking for more-traditional coverage, there will be plenty of that too, with lots of NBA TV and Turner Sports personalities on the broadcasts. There are some other unconventional choices too, though, such as Ros Gold-Onwude and Kristen Ledlow, usually seen as reporters, amongst the group doing play-by-play, and Vince Carter returning as a guest analyst. Here’s more on that:
The network’s on-site commentators in Las Vegas will include analysts Isiah Thomas, Greg Anthony, Steve Smith, Stu Jackson, Derek Fisher and eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, who will serve as a guest analyst for the network for the third straight year. Matt Winer, Rick Kamla, Kristen Ledlow, Casey Stern, Ros Gold-Onwude and Jared Greenberg will share play-by-play responsibilities. Dennis Scott, Ro Parrish, Ledlow, Greenberg and Gold-Onwude will serve as reporters.
But the most out-of-the-ordinary element here is the game The Starters will be calling. That one will definitely be worth keeping an eye on.