Craig Barry Rumors

“Three years ago, when we knew the 30th anniversary of ‘Inside the NBA’ was fast approaching, we wanted to find a way to celebrate the longevity of the show,” Martin said. “Given the fact that I was actually born in 1989, there was so much about the history of ‘Inside’ that I didn’t know. I assumed that had to be a story fans would love to hear as well. The original idea was to release an oral history as a podcast. We sat (host) Ernie (Johnson) and TK (longtime show producer Tim Kiely) down in a sound studio for what was supposed to be a 30-minute conversation. They talked for almost two hours, laughing and sharing stories of how the show came to be. I immediately knew we had something special.”
“Audrey came into my office and said, ‘Look, I did this audio pilot with TK and EJ and would you take a listen to it,’” Barry said. “She said she really wanted to do a podcast of the history of the show. It took all of about 90 seconds to process it. I said, ‘Why would we want it to be audio? Why would it be a podcast? Why wouldn’t we create a documentary around this?’ At that point, I didn’t know if it would be 60 minutes, two hours, and I definitely wasn’t thinking a four-hour doc. I challenged her to go back and sketch out what a potential documentary would look like. That’s exactly what she did. She came back with a plan and said we can do this and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ And that was the origin of the documentary.”
Three years ago, Audrey Martin, a senior digital producer at Turner Sports, walked into the office of Craig Barry, the chief content officer at Turner Sports, and presented him with an idea for a podcast series focusing on the history of the program. “Three years ago, when we knew the 30th anniversary of ‘Inside the NBA’ was fast approaching, we wanted to find a way to celebrate the longevity of the show,” Martin said. “Given the fact that I was actually born in 1989, there was so much about the history of ‘Inside’ that I didn’t know. I assumed that had to be a story fans would love to hear as well. The original idea was to release an oral history as a podcast. We sat (host) Ernie (Johnson) and TK (longtime show producer Tim Kiely) down in a sound studio for what was supposed to be a 30-minute conversation. They talked for almost two hours, laughing and sharing stories of how the show came to be. I immediately knew we had something special.”
Fans of the show will appreciate the culling of 3o-plus years of footage. Barry said the doc’s co-executive producer and Turner Sports creative director Drew Watkins was an advocate of breaking the story into four chapters, likening the evolution of the show to jazz, with one on-air staffer adding improvisation to create a new sound to the show. “Because of the way each of them came in and joined the show, which was years apart from each other, that was the obvious delineation of when the show changed,” Barry said. “Each of the entrances of the primary talents — and Ernie becoming host after the merry-go-round of hosts — were the most pivotal moments in the show’s history. We thought that it made sense for those to be the delineation of the four episodes.”
Inside the NBA’s talent has plenty of fun and everyone is careful to not tamper with the chemistry. None of the panelists outside of Johnson attend production meetings, a decision everyone acknowledges is vital to the organic dialogue of the show. “We don’t want them at the production meetings,” Johnson says. “We don’t want them there because as long as the producer and I know what we’ve got, that’s all we need.” “Philosophically, the best TV comes from great chemistry,” says Barry. “It doesn’t happen for every show. Sometimes you have to search for it, and even then you don’t always find it. But when you do find it, you can’t deny it. For these guys specifically, they feel like guys that you would want to sit down and have a conversation with, and feel like you can. They’re approachable.”
And then there’s Barkley, the show’s lightning rod. The Hall of Famer and former league MVP is famous (and infamous) for speaking his mind, no matter the subject or the consequences. “When Charles got here, he changed our show dramatically,” Johnson says. “Kenny and I were having a good time and it was a little off the wall, but he changed the show dramatically and he changed the landscape for every show.” “Everybody felt like, ‘We have to bring someone in to be our Charles Barkley.’ But it doesn’t work that way. Charles had that equity built in, of all those years as a player being the most quotable guy in the league. He almost had that diplomatic immunity. He’ll say something outrageous and people will just say, ‘Oh, that’s Chuck being Chuck.’ Other guys try to say it, and suddenly find themselves looking for other work.”