Turner’s trio of Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Stan Van Gundy vs ESPN’s Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy. We can debate which team is the better announcing crew, but Miller is more concerned about who would win a game of three-on-three basketball.
Monday night, with the Miami Heat getting obliterated by the Boston Celtics, ESPN was grasping at straws to keep the audience tuned in. Late in the fourth quarter, Mark Jackson recalled a conversation he had with Jeff Van Gundy, wondering if they could beat TNT’s lead NBA broadcast team on the court.
Tuesday night, TNT was similarly grasping at straws during an unexpected rain delay inside the Dallas Mavericks’ American Airlines Center. With airtime to fill, TNT replayed the ESPN bit, including Jackson’s confident declaration that he would win his matchup with Miller, prompting the Indiana Pacers Hall-of-Famer to respond.
“I love Mark Jackson and I love coach Jeff Van Gundy,” Miller said. “But if we were gonna play a game of two-on-two, what would Shaq say? BARBECUE CHICKEN!”
Reggie Miller is hyped about the idea of a TNT vs ESPN basketball game pic.twitter.com/MB5ZYaBZ9r
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) May 25, 2022
It’s nice to see competing networks and broadcasters acknowledge each other. Usually, they pretend like no other outlet covers sports and naively expects the audience to buy it.
“If they wanna play three-on-three – Harlan, I’m putting you in the post against that lightweight Mike Breen!” Miller continued. “And if they wanna play four-on-four – our girl Allie LaForce is giving Lisa Salters buckets! So ABC! We want all the smoke! Anytime, anywhere!”
Is this going to happen? A charity basketball game between TNT and ESPN? It sounds like a fun event for the Friday of All-Star weekend. Honestly, even if they just want to play the game now, the competition can’t be much worse than what we’ve seen out of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, which has been disappointingly marred by blowouts.
While they’re at it, let’s add the studio shows into the mix. Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson vs ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Mike Greenberg, Michael Wilbon and Jalen Rose. Yikes, that looks rough on paper, but Rose is in much better shape than anyone else on the floor and should be able to carry ESPN to a few buckets.