TNT Going Simple For LeBron's Return Game
It has been circled on the calendar ever since LeBron James announced this summer that he was taking his talents to South Beach. Yes, tomorrow is the day when James, now a member of the Miami Heat, plays his first game back in Cleveland.
Many of those who will see the game live have paid top dollar to yell and scream and see James hopefully frustrated. And many at home will be watching a game between two struggling teams just for the potential to see a spectacle that they’ve never seen.
So what should fans expect to see from the TNT broadcast?
Executive producer Jeff Behnke said the network won’t go overboard. They’ll add a couple extra cameras including a roving, cable-free camera that they also used for James’ opening night game against the Celtics, which at 7.3 million viewers set the record for the highest regular season game on cable. There won't be any extra crowd microphones, in case you wondered.
Behnke said he’s also confident that he has the right team of announcers (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Reggie Miller and Craig Sager) for the moment.
“The beauty of Marv is that he’s had so much experience and can give the viewer great context, while a guy like Reggie at least knows what it’s like to go into a raucous atmosphere from the so many times he played against the Knicks in New York," Behnke said.
Behnke said there will be no attempt to “reinvent the wheel.”
“The story is so obvious that we’re not going to try to be cute,” Behnke said. “The guys (Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson) will give their opinion in the pre-game show and then we’ll let it unfold," Behnke said. "We know the fans are going to be energized and we’ll cover those emotions. It’s definitely a special game. Besides the season opener, I don’t think there’s been interest like this in a regular-season game since Jordan came back.”
Behnke said TNT has put in a request to talk to LeBron at the layup line before the game starts and at the end of the half. Said Behnke: “We expect LeBron would talk to Craig.”
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