The NBA All-Star Game is fast approaching, and viewers tuning in for the broadcast will hear some new voices this year.
Obviously with Marv Albert retiring, Turner had to find a replacement, and they’ve reportedly gone with Kevin Harlan. In addition to Harlan calling play-by-play, though, TNT will also feature Charles Barkley on the game call, with returning analyst Reggie Miller.
That’s all according to Andrew Marchand at the New York Post:
In the post-Marv Albert NBA era, Turner Sports is turning to Charles Barkley as its headliner for its All-Star Game coverage, The Post has learned.
Barkley will join Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller as TNT’s team for the play-by-play of the game, according to sources. Barkley will remain a part of TNT’s studio coverage for the event, as well.
Marchand also notes that Brian Anderson will call the Skills Competition, while mentioning an interesting nugget that Harlan is also likely to call the Conference Finals:
At one point, TNT had a plan in place in which Anderson, its No. 1 MLB play-by-player, would succeed Albert as the lead NBA announcer.
However, since Albert’s move the cable network has chosen not to anoint anyone. Harlan will get the nod for the All-Star Game and now appears to be the favorite for the conference finals. That is still undecided. Harlan, who also is the lead voice on Westwood One’s NFL coverage and will call the Super Bowl, was behind Albert on TNT’s depth chart for many years. Harlan also works for CBS.
In any case, getting Barkley on the game feels like a no-brainer. He was obviously part of hosting coverage in the past, but any time TNT can get Barkley more airtime, they should probably be trying to do that. Certainly during an exhibition contest, on one of the higher-profile dates of the league calendar, having Barkley involved makes a lot of sense.