Turner Sports says its “Inside the NBA” studio team will call a Christmas night game in Los Angeles along with its other usual duties. Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson will be at Staples Center for the Lakers’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They will call the nightcap of the league’s five-game holiday schedule in addition to their regular pregame, halftime and postgame coverage.
Thursday’s “NBA on TNT” broadcast should be interesting. The main event between Lonzo Ball’s Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers figures to be a spectacle, but don’t discount the in-studio undercard, which could feature Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith hashing out their own issues with LaVar Ball. In Shaq’s case, it’s being denied Big Baller status by the Big Baller Brand CEO. For Chuck, it’s comments he made on ESPN radio questioning whether the Ballfather is, in fact, a “legit father” for “exploiting his kids.” The Jet now finds himself in the fray after turning Barkley’s stance on its ear.
“I don’t know if he’s exploiting them. He’s giving them opportunities they didn’t have, without question,” Kenny Smith told TMZ Sports. “I think that there are multiple routes. He took that route, but he doesn’t know the other route, how it helps you to go to college, not just on a basketball standpoint.” Smith thought it was “a good move” to send LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball to Lithuania, but emphasized that he’s still “a proponent of college.”
Today Guardian US announces Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a new contributor and columnist. Legendary NBA champion, best-selling author, and recipient of 2016 Medal of Freedom Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will write on sports and social issues in America. His first column on Guardian US launches today: The NBA has surpassed the NFL as the League of America’s future.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Today I am proud to announce my new role as columnist for The Guardian Newspaper. By partnering with one of the world’s largest newspapers it helps me further reach a global audience. Has the NBA surpassed the NFL as the League of America’s future? bit.ly/2jSw21z
The squad that boasts Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and JJ Redick has become must-see television. Their matchup against the Timberwolves was televised by ESPN. The network will also cover the team from morning to night across all ESPN properties on Friday. The coverage will conclude with the 7 p.m. matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Wells Fargo Center.