Back in 1984, SuperStation TBS purchased the rights to the National Basketball Association, a partnership that has continued through today. Then in 1988, the NBA began airing on TBS’ sister network TNT, and since 2002, has shared the cable rights with ESPN.
For many NBA fans, TNT has become the network of record for the NBA thanks to its long run of airing games. Let’s give you some various opens and promos from TBS.
From 1985, here’s a promo for Monday Night NBA between Philadelphia and San Antonio. When TBS first got the NBA, it labeled the league as America’s Game, something David Stern really liked.
Here’s an intro for Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Pistons. Bob Neal and Doug Collins were the broadcast team and Charlie Neal (no relation) was the on-site host.
In 1991, the Suns beat the Celtics in a regular season game and your postgame host is Ernie Johnson, Jr. as it is today, but look how small the studio looks. Of course, you don’t have Kenny Smith or Charles Barkley.
In 2003, TNT used its “We Know Drama” line for the NBA Playoffs and here’s director Spike Lee.
“Remember the Name” was the theme of TNT’s playoff coverage in 2006.
Here’s the “Remember the Name” intro just before Game 6 of the 2006 Western Conference Finals.
Here’s Entourage’s Jeremy Piven doing the introduction to the 2007 Playoffs.
This is TNT’s opening to the 2007-08 season.
This is Chris Rock doing the intro for the 2008 All Star Game.
Here’s Terrence Howard’s introduction to the 2008 NBA Playoffs on TNT.
Here’s the current NBA on TNT theme.
One cannot forget about Inside the NBA, winner of four Sports Emmy Awards for Best Studio Show. The show took off when Charles Barkley joined Kenny Smith and host Ernie Johnson, Jr. Here’s video from 2002 after a Denver blowout loss at the hands of Detroit. This is when the three are at their best.
From 2004, Yao Ming wishes Kenny Smith a Happy Birthday.
From the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals, TNT shows Charles Barkley on roller blades.
Of course, there’s the classic moment from earlier this season when Ernie punked Charles with the famous “I’m a dumbass” line.
But the best is when the Inside the NBA pulls out the pictures and here is prom night featuring guest analyst Magic Johnson.
There you go. Starting next week, we’ll get ready for the Summer Olympics with various looks at coverage from previous summer games.