Chris Webber, Steve Smith and Ernie Johnson Return for Another Season of NBA Talk
NBA TV’s six-part original series Open Court, a critically-acclaimed show featuring a roundtable discussion with a full cast of NBA TV and TNT commentators, returns to the network Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 11 p.m. ET. The series will once again include Sports Emmy® Award-winning studio host Ernie Johnson, Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller, five-time NBA Champion Steve Kerr, four-time NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal, two-time NBA Champion Kenny Smith, five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber and NBA Champion Steve Smith. Following the Oct. 9 premiere, NBA TV’s Open Court will be televised weekly each Tuesday at 11 p.m. through Oct. 23. The Oct. 30 episode will air at 5 p.m., with additional episodes airing later in the season.
Each Open Court episode will feature candid conversation from the panel of NBA TV and TNT experts on a wide variety of subjects. The first episode – Open Court: The Front Court – will offer discussion on three-time NBA MVP LeBron James of the Miami Heat, on the heels of his first championship, and other topics ranging from best “bigs” in the league and why they struggle at the free throw line to which current NBA players remind them of themselves and much more.
Excerpts from the first episode of Open Court:
Charles Barkley on LeBron James comparisons to Michael Jordan:
“I do think he can be better than Michael. I thought I would never compare somebody to Michael Jordan. But this guy, LeBron James, he does everything well. Michael did everything well. LeBron James is just bigger, stronger, faster. That’s the only difference.”
Shaquille O’Neal on James’ future:
“Unfortunately for LeBron, now that the monkey is off his back, he is going to be compared to two people – Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. So now the question is how many championships can he get? We all know he is a competitor.”
Reggie Miller on James and what to expect from him now that he has a championship under his belt:
“It’s interesting what winning does, getting that championship and getting that monkey off his back. What’s scary is what lies ahead for him. He’s already won three MVPs, he’s considered by all of us to be the best player on the planet right now. I think his best basketball is yet to come because of that one championship.”
O’Neal on today’s best big men:
“We, as players, we always watch people before us. For me it was Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, guys who played as true centers inside. What we have now is centers going to the European style, which is a lot of pick and roll. Me, being an old school big man, I am going to go with Brook Lopez and Andrew Bynum.”
Open Court, produced by Turner Sports, is the latest in a series of original programming airing on NBA TV, which has included The Dream Team, Wilt 100 and The Association. The network, launched in 1999 as the first full-time TV network created by a professional sports league, had its most viewed and highest rated regular season in 2011-12. The 24-hour network, available in 60 million U.S. households, airs more than 250 games a year.
Additional information, archival footage from last season and behind-the-scenes clips from Open Court can be found at www.NBA.com/opencourt.
NBA TV is a part of NBA Digital, the NBA’s extensive cross-platform portfolio of digital assets jointly-managed by the NBA and Turner Sports including NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, NBA Mobile, NBADLEAGUE.com, and WNBA.com
Photo Credit: © 2012 Turner Sports. A Time Warner Company.