NBA’s ASG tonight is a Turner Manningcast; Lots of voices; LeBron in Cleveland where he was raised

Sunday’s ASG Schedule Below

In its annual break during the regular season, the NBA will settle into Cleveland for a celebratory All-Star Weekend. The best and most talented stars will take the court in friendly fashion. Viewers are unlikely to witness brawls, scars and bruises The NBA selectees’ first goal are to get out of town unbruised, the rest of their seasons unharmed. You’re unlikely to see a Friday night bruising  matchup  between the Knicks and Celtics. It’s about entertainment more than winning or losing. It’s  about raising money for charity than it is a win in the Western or Eastern Division teams.

It’s the NBA’s diamond anniversary and the league’s present and future stars hope to make a splash while the playoffs are within sight.  For the first time during the All-Star Game, not only will there be a classic broadcast with Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, and Dwyane Wade. There will also be an alternative viewing opportunity.  The Inside the NBA Crew will do a “Manningcast” type gamecast that took the football scene by storm.  In what seems like a perfect game for Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Draymond Green to do with their usual banter, let’s anticipate what we might expect. Many or most rank the Turner studio, the funniest and most predictable in sports TV.

With Cleveland being this year’s All-Star locale, expect much of the conversation to center around its king, LeBron James.  In much of the lead-up to Sunday’s festivities, the The Kid from Akron has partaken in his fair share of reminiscing on his early days in Cleveland. From reuniting with his high school teammates to talks of potentially making a return in uniform to town , the NBA’s biggest star has made the most of this All-Star Weekend.  With his continuing excellence, James’ tank is still hefty.  Since going on the record stating he wants to play with his son Bronny, the Inside the NBA Crew might revel in the near twenty-year impact of LeBron James and what he’s done for the NBA and his hometown community.  Some unique perspectives will be added from one of LeBron’s former teammates in Shaq and Draymond Green who is a close friend and has played him in four NBA Finals.

Even though the competition is on hiatus, one series of talking points that will likely be featured on TBS’ coverage of the All-Star Game will be the subject of  predictions.  Forecasting how the regular season and playoffs will end up is a staple of Inside the NBA, where Sir Charles’ guarantees are some of the most memorable segments, from  pregame coverage through the course of the season.

The game itself features many players of the league’s most competitive teams, those looking to make a run at the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Think Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Devin Booker of the league-leading 48-10 Phoenix Suns.  Beyond the race to the NBA Finals, many recent narratives still need to be resolved.  Questions such as how Joel Embiid and James Harden will play  together in Philadelphia. How will Ben Simmons suit up in Brooklyn and whether the Lakers will turn their season around at all? What will the talking points be by the Inside Crew?  If there is one thing that can be guaranteed, it is that when it comes to these opinions, no one in the group will be shy sharing them . 

Even if competition between teams is tempered, each of the players participating will be fighting for the Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP Trophy, named for the late Hall of Famer and the Laker legend.

With this TNT crew talking hoops as audiences watch along with them, the alternative broadcast experiment should be an intriguing indicator of how popular they’ll be. Can it work outside the NFL’s Manningcasts. Baseball will introduce them this summer on ESPN, if there’s a season. When ABC/ESPN has its next Super Bowl in 2026,  and puts all their tentacles to use, fans will have tons of ways to watch the Super Bowl.

It’s just the beginning.

Sunday, Feb. 20

NBA Unveils Logos for NBA All-Star 2022 | Cleveland Cavaliers12 p.m. ET | NBA Legends Awards | NBA TV

2 p.m. ET | NBA G League Next Gem Game | NBA TV 
     • G League Ignite vs. Cleveland Charge

8 p.m. ET 71st NBA All-Star Game | TNT / TBS 

The TBS broadcast tonight includes Golden State All-Star Draymond Green, who came to terms last month as a commentator while still on the Warriors roster. Green will not play in tonight’s game due to a lower back injury but will be talking to players on the bench during the first half.

Coverage will also feature Stephen Curry, Donovan Mitchell and Ja Morant, the referee crew and coaches Monty Williams and Erik Spoelstra wearing mics.

Philip Tepper

Philip Tepper is a sophomore at Syracuse University majoring in Sport Management with a Public Communications minor. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in public relations in sports media.

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