Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, February 19, 2009: Barkley Is Back! Happy Birthday Chuck!

TNT NBA Thursdays continue on Thursday, 26 at 8 p.m. ET featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers @ Houston Rockets followed by the Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Lakers

TNT NBA Tip-off presented by AutoTrader.com

Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley

Barkley on his return to the TNT set: “I’m glad to be back.  Let me start by saying something.  Clearly everybody knows that I got a DUI; that’s unacceptable and it’s 100% my fault.  I let my family down clearly, I let TNT down clearly, I let T-Mobile down clearly, but also I let the NBA family down…All I can say is that it will never happen again and I’m sorry, that’s all I can say.  It’s been interesting sitting back and listening to all these people tell me this and this and this and listen to what everybody’s got to say. I screwed up, I made a mistake, I’m sorry and I apologize.”

Barkley on what positive will come out this experience:  “I will never get behind the wheel when I’ve been drinking.  Every person who’s drunk thinks they’re alright to drive, so I challenge everybody out there to really…I could be a hypocrite and tell you that I hope nobody drinks and drives, but I think that’s unrealistic.  I want everybody to really, seriously think about if you’ve had something to drink…I hope that somebody else out there thinks about that before they get behind the wheel.”

Barkley on Rafer Alston being traded to the Orlando Magic:  “I think that’s an upgrade, clearly, but are they better than the Cavaliers or the Celtics?  We’ll have to wait and see.  It is an upgrade, I like Rafer Alston, I think he brings toughness to the table and if there’s one thing Orlando needed it was toughness.”

Smith: “Honestly, I think this puts (Orlando) over the hump of Cleveland.  Boston is still clearly the best team but it took them over Cleveland because what Rafer does different than Jameer (Nelson) is (Jameer) doesn’t get the ball to (Hedo) Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and to Dwight Howard as easily and less reluctantly as Rafer Alston does.  He wants to give the basketball up so those guys are going to actually be better because he’s there.  Whereas with Jameer Nelson there he was having a great year but I think Rafer is actually going to propel those guys – those three guys are going to score more and score easier.”

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Game #1San Antonio Spurs (83) @ Detroit Pistons (79)

Announcers: Marv Albert and Reggie Miller; Craig Sager reporting

Miller on why Detroit Pistons guard Allen Iverson should come off the bench:  “(Allen Iverson) could be the new version of Vinnie Johnson, the great Detroit Piston (also known as) ‘The Microwave.’  All you had to do was hand him the ball and say, ‘You can take 18-22 shots, do whatever you want with that second unit.’  Rip Hamilton needs to be pampered and when you have AI and Rip (Hamilton on the floor) at the same time it takes away, that’s why Tayshaun  (Prince) is probably going to be the primary ball handler when those two guys are out there at the same time.”

Miller on Allen Iverson not wanting to come off the bench:  “I think in his head (Allen Iverson) doesn’t feel that way, but he’s going to have to learn to come off the bench on whatever team he goes to after this – if Joe Dumars doesn’t sign him.  I think that’s why Rip Hamilton probably took the high road because he’s like look, ‘AI will probably be gone next year and I’ll probably be back in the starting lineup.’  But AI at some point in time is going to have to learn to come off the bench, and you know what?  For a team that’s contending, Allen Iverson coming off the bench, that would be scary for 25-30 minutes.”

Miller on the trade at the start of the season that sent Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons and Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets: “Everyone talks about the (previous) trade with Chauncey (Billups) and (Allen Iverson).  If you look at their numbers as individuals they’re pretty much the same.  Both of them are averaging 18 (ppg), shooting 42 percent from the field, Chauncey is probably averaging one more assist.  But Chauncey has a better supporting cast – Nene, Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith.  The guys are underachieving here in Detroit for AI.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report

Announcers: Johnson, Smith, Barkley

TNT Insider David Aldridge joined the show via satellite to weigh in on the trade deadline.

Aldridge on the Houston/Orlando/Memphis trade that sent guard Rafer Alston to the Magic:  “(Rafer Alston) was a great pick up for Orlando.  They were going south in a hurry without Jameer Nelson at the point and to pick up Rafer Alston for Brian Cook, essentially, that’s pretty good.  Rafer Alston is a starter in this league, he’s started for a playoff team for the past couple of years. You’re not going to find a better player who’s available for less than what Orlando was able to do.  Now they can take Hedo Turkoglu off the ball, put Rafer on the ball, he’s a shooter playing off Dwight Howard he should have some real success there.  Great pick up by Orlando.”

Aldridge on why the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t make a trade:  “(The Cavaliers) tried (to make a trade), they really did try.  They were all over the place.  They tried to get Antawn Jamison from Washington, they tried to get Amar’e Stoudemire, they tried to get Richard Jefferson, they tried to get Shaq.  I can tell you this, they were more interested in Shaquille O’Neal than they were in Amar’e Stoudemire.  That’s a fact.  They wanted Shaq badly and they really tried to get him.”

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Miller on the Phoenix Suns scoring 140 points in back-to-back games under their new interim coach Alvin Gentry: “I’m happy for Alvin Gentry, it’s nice that he was given another chance.  That’s really a slap in the face to Terry Porter.  What that’s saying is, ‘We laid down for Terry Porter when you were brought in to change the culture and make us more defensive-minded.  You’re gone, now we’re going to run the score up to 140 in back-to-back games.’  That’s a slap in Terry Porter’s face.”

Miller on mentoring a young Rip Hamilton: “When I was an older player and Rip (Hamilton) was in Washington he would wait for me after games and say, ‘Hey Reg, can you teach me some things about coming off screens and things like that?’  Fast forward to some of our hotly contested match-ups when he was in Detroit and he was using some of my own moves against me.  What is up with that?  Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Spurs forward Bruce Bowen following the game.

Bowen on how important it was for him to guard Allen Iverson during the final seconds of the game: “It was important.  I’ve been known as a defender and I take pride in that.  It’s not a situation where you feel like you’re going to be able to stop everybody, but you want to make the shot as difficult as possible.  That was my main goal, try to use my length against him and hopefully he’d miss the shot.”

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Game #2:  Boston Celtics (85) @ Utah Jazz (90)

Announcers Kevin Harlan and Doug Collins with Cheryl Miller reporting

Collins on the Utah’s style of play at home:  “One of the reasons why Utah is so good at home, obviously there’s altitude, but they run more at home.   They get into the open court, they create turnovers.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller spoke with Jazz forward Carlos Boozer who recently had knee surgery.

Boozer on when he will return:  “I’m very close.  I did some shooting drills yesterday with the team and tomorrow hope to go through practice.  I’ll get a couple more practices in and hopefully be back next week.”

Cheryl Miller interviewed Celtics head coach Doc Rivers after the first quarter.

Rivers on the strong Celtics defense in the first quarter:  “Charles’ return inspired us tonight.  Welcome back, Charles.  It was great, the defense was great.  I thought we were a little clumsy offensively, but as long as our defense was good we get a chance to win the game and that was great to start the half.”

Collins on matching up against the Celtics:  “When you play against the Celtics you better meet their toughness.  You better meet the physical challenge they bring to you and also the verbal challenge they bring to you.”

Collins on Jazz guard Ronnie Brewer:  “(Ronnie Brewer’s) calling card really is his defense and now he’s starting to pick up his offense.  One thing about these Utah Jazz younger players is how much better they get from year-to-year.  They really do a great job here developing young players.”

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T-Mobile Halftime Report

Announcers: Johnson, Smith, Barkley

Barkley on Celtics forward Kevin Garnett’s injury that sent him to the locker room in the second quarter: “You gotta be concerned because you can see that (Kevin Garnett’s) ankle didn’t turn, he hurt it on liftoff.  You just have a pray that it’s not an Achilles (injury).  For a guy who represents everything good about the game, you hope it’s not a season-ending injury.  It would be monumental for the Eastern Conference and the entire NBA to lose a guy like that.”

Barkley on the Jazz struggling without forward Carlos Boozer:  “You can see that Utah is never going to be a complete team until they get Carlos Boozer back.  They got off to tough start shooting the ball, and then between jump shooters and guys who can get you easy baskets or wide open jump shots, is your inside game.  So you can’ really judge this Utah team until they get Boozer back.”

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Following halftime Cheryl Miller gave a report on the status of Kevin Garnett.

Cheryl Miller on Kevin Garnett sitting out the rest of the game:  “It was a hold-your-breath type of moment.  Kevin Garnett gave it his best shot, he went back out on the court.  Even before he went out on the court he was stretching and I was told by the team representative that he strained his right knee.  Doc (Rivers) came out and told me there is no way he’s going to play and that they were shutting it down, but Kevin did want to play.  But they are going to error on the side of caution.”

Colllins on Celtics center Kendrick Perkins:  “Kendrick Perkins, it’s so important to see him.  When he was out with a shoulder injury (the Celtics) missed him.  His size and strength and toughness on that front line, very underrated in the Celtics’ success.”

TNT’s Cheryl Miller interviewed Deron Williams after the game.

Williams on how the win against the Celtics matches up against the recent win against the Lakers:  “This is our second statement win.  Both of these wins have been huge for our confidence.  This was a great defensive win and we battled it out with them all night.  It’s a great win for our team.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley

Barkley on Rockets guard Rafer Alston being traded to the Magic:  “(Rafer Alston) will speed up the tempo of the game.  Orlando shoots too may threes, you don’t live by threes you die by threes.  Rafer is really going to help (Hedo) Turkoglu and Rashard (Lewis), they’re going to get easier baskets.”

Barkley on the Cavaliers not making a trade: “The Cavaliers made a mistake (by not making a trade)…They should have said, ‘We’re going to keep LeBron (James), we’re going to keep Mo Williams, you can have anybody else we got.’  If they would have done anything to get a big body they would have been better off.”

Smith:  “I told you what they would’ve heard.  A dial tone.”

Smith on the Rafer Alston trade having a big impact on the Magic:  “Some people say some trades aren’t big, like because Rafer Alston doesn’t have that household name in terms of superstar status.  I remember when Mario Ellie came to the Houston Rockets and people asked if that was a big trade and I said, ‘That’s a big trade for us because he’s a guy that puts us in position to win it all because he can grab so many different things.’  And then he went to San Antonio and it was a big trade.  It is a big trade when a guy can put you in position to win it all.  Regardless of his stat line, he puts them in position to win it all now.”

Barkley:  “I think he’s a good leader because I noticed last year in the playoffs he was talking to (Tracy McGrady)….and that’s what a leader does, especially a point guard.”

Barkley’s Oscar picks:

Best movie:  Slumdog Millionaire

Best actress: Angelina Jolie, Changeling

Best actor:  Sean Penn, Milk

Best supporting actress:  Viola Davis, Doubt

Best supporting actor:  Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

Log onto TNT OverTime on NBA.com for a full replay of Inside the NBA and exclusive reports from TNT announcers.

3 Responses to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, February 19, 2009: Barkley Is Back! Happy Birthday Chuck!”

  1. Temple3 says:

    Mizzo:

    I just wanted to say thanks for routinely providing these reads. This is entertaining stuff.

    Also, unless you’re a glutton for punishment, I can hardly find a reason to go to ESPN’s web site. With respect to content, the leagues have really stepped up over the past few years. Most of what anyone needs is available at the web sites of the organizations. Players have web sites. There are blogs like this and SOMM and so many others.

    In all honesty, ESPN doesn’t really have much of its content. They broadcast games (which I rarely watch with the volume on – that means YOU Jaworski!!). They do produce a few shows, but they’ve been significantly outdone in that arena by HBO.

    MODI just wrote an excellent piece re: their online marketing model (casting black athletes as criminals to feed the mob), and has become increasingly clear to me (though I’ve said this to you since 2007) that ESPN is a dinosaur. They’re approach is based on biting the hand that feeds it.

    Your battle in defense of Donovan McNabb was compelling enough to drag me in — and you know I’ve never been more than lukewarm about him.

    The game has changed. As people continue to move away from their televisions and are able to watch more and more live content online (via smart phone, i-phone, mini pc, etc.), ESPN as a network will become less important. ESPN as a web brand will become more isolated because the LEAGUES will NEVER cede online broadcast rights to ESPN. There would be no reason to. It’s a matter of time before the big thud you hear will be the big dumb Disney crashing on its head.

    The only thing that can save them is pandering to the mob and the X Games. They don’t have a chance.

  2. Miranda says:

    I can’t believe Sir Charles has to do 5 days in the pokey.

  3. Mizzo says:

    Temple I just saw this. I thank you so much for coming on board. I have to put it out there so Donovan’s legacy will be law. I will do what it takes here to make everything you said above happen. I just need more than 24 hours in a day bruh but it will be done. I have to learn to encapsulate my voice and eliminate unnecessary words. I’m learning.

    I’ll check out Modi’s piece when I get this interview up. I have a lot more coming after this.

    Can’t stop, won’t stop.

    As far as the notes, thank my relationship with TNT for that. Shout out to the lovely Tara August :)

    Yeah, that’s messed up about Chuck Miranda. Damn. I hope he doesn’t hand out any whuppins over those three hots.

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