Thursday, November 20th, 2008 at 3:53 pm  |  24 responses

What NBATV Should Be

Todd Spehr’s ideal hoops programming.

As if he doesn’t spend enough time watching NBATV already, Todd Spehr contemplated a schedule that would keep him glued to the set for 16 consecutive hours. Let a man have his fantasy…

by Todd Spehr

Anyone who loves the NBA loves NBATV. There’s no two ways about it. From the classic games, to the best individual game highlights, to the sheer confusion and entertainment that comes with every time Andre Aldridge opens his mouth, NBATV is the ready-made hoops fix. So wouldn’t it be great to create your own programming schedule? Here’s one junkies’ attempt:

8–9 a.m.: NBA All-Access: One on One
Who wouldn’t want to be a fly on the wall for one of these awkward conversations? Stephon Marbury meeting with Donnie Walsh. Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Baron Davis. QRich and [Insert Celtic here]. Mike D’Antoni and Steve Kerr. David Falk and any NBA GM. Matt Barnes and Rafer Alston. George Karl and A.I. Seriously, the NBA has cameras everywhere–we need to make this happen.

9–10 a.m.: NBA Home Video: Super Slams of the NBA (1990)
Classic are good for you. Of the NBA Home Video craze that was 1990 to 1994, this was the best of a very good bunch. If you’ve never seen it, head over to eBay right now and purchase it (or just patiently wait for my takeover of NBATV). It chronicles Doc, MJ and ‘Nique, and you’ll never look at Larry Nance and Orlando Woolridge the same again.

10 a.m.–12 p.m.: NBA Hardwood Classics: 11/9/84 — Sixers at Celtics
A remarkable game on a variety of levels: 1) The two transcendent forwards of their generation–Bird and Dr. J–are ejected for fighting at the end of the third quarter; 2) Bird had dropped 42 in 32 minutes and was staring 75 points in the face (not really, but he was going for 60) before his early exit; and 3) Knick Bavetta refs the entire second half all by his lonesome–the other (only two referees called games back then) left injured in the first half. I’m assuming this has never seen the light of day for the same reason The Brawl at the Palace won’t. Tell me you don’t want to see this game.

12–1 p.m.: JVG and Jax
I know, I know, sounds like a sitcom, but it’s really like PTI. We need to lock these two in a room, flick on the camera, and let ‘em go at it. Has there ever been a more thought-provoking analyst than Jeff Van Gundy? And Mark Jackson provides the gasoline for every blaze. This would be good viewing, even without Mike “Bang!” Breen.

1–3 p.m.: Just Perfect: Those Magnificent 7-0 L.A. Lakers (Documentary)
“Profiles the amazing, unbelievable, and breathtaking first seven games of the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers!” Honest, they only won seven games to start this year, but you’d swear they’d had 82-0 locked up. Heck, even Andrew Bynum (who’s beginning to make Damon Jones look humble) was looking ahead to the next 10-game win streak before the first one had been Fat's phatcompleted. Either way, spend two hours basking in the glory of a team just taking advantage of a kind schedule, while capturing the hearts of a nation.

3–5 p.m.: NBA Hardwood Classics: 1/7/88 — Nuggets at Bulls
Apologies for the randomness, but I’m telling you right now, the casual fan needs to know the greatness of Fat Lever. So why not show a game where he drops 31, 16, and 12 on MJ (during his first MVP year) in Chicago Stadium, no less?

6–7 p.m.: NBA Special: Bruce Bowen Roundtable Discussion
Join Wally Szczerbiak as he hosts an impressive collection of panelists–Kobe, Ray Allen, Nash, Amare, and V.C.–live from the floor of the SBC Center as they dissect their respective hatred for Bruce Bowen. (Brent Barry was unavailable.) See exclusive footage, league-wide comments, and pure disdain just dripping out your TV. Hit up the TiVo right now.

7–8 p.m.: Point Game
Inspired by SLAM 124, this program focus on the point. In all seriousness, the position has reached a total rebirth, not unlike the era of 1987-93 when there was an obscene amount of talent at the one. Paul, Williams, Nash, Calderon, Davis, Billups, Ford, Kidd, Rondo, Miller, Rose, and Mills (whoops… not yet). Highlights, analysis, and discussion–you get the point (pun intended).

8–11 p.m.: Hoop Dreams (1994)
Any kid who grew up playing ball in the last 20 years needs to see this. Without doubt the best basketball documentary of all time. Enough said.

11 p.m.–Midnight: NBA TV Daily
Well, I can’t completely overhaul the network.

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  • Ken

    Loved it.

  • http://www.talkhoops.net Zach Harper

    Excellent ideas. You could have shown Fat Lever highlights for 24 hours and it would have been great. Good stuff, Todd.

  • Corey L

    The two games you mentioned sound particularly interesting. Good read and very creative.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    I’ve already got the Just Perfect Laker Documentary on DVD.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I can do without the two hours of Lakers, but everything else was spot on.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    And lots of Gary Payton in the studio…

  • MSkittle

    I am feelin the Webber/Payton analysis!

  • Todd Spehr

    Of course, you realize the Lakers Documentary was pure sarcasm, right? Also, Fat was a stud, no ifs, ands, or buts

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I do now. I’m an idiot.

  • http://AllAbout-Penis-Enlargement.com Jukai

    So, is Mills to Spehr what Rubios is to Lang?

  • Ken

    Is that Bird-Dr. J fight the one which yielded the famous photo of them at each other’s throats?

  • Todd Spehr

    @ Ken, it is indeed. After that, Moses and (in his fifth NBA game) Barkley held Bird down while Doc jabbed away. One of the most entertaining fights ever, considering the participants.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper


  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Moses and (in his fifth NBA game) Barkley held Bird down while Doc jabbed away…….CLASSIC

  • http://slamonline.com powlodaJon

    Damn, I love NBA Tv so much that my girlfriend left me cause I watched anytime I was home. No lie, she really left me! I really do think they should expand the programming though. Maybe more late 80′s specials like Jordan’s Come Fly with Me, or something like that.

  • http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Where is the “Ron Artest Show”?

  • Todd Spehr

    Jackie, you’re right!

  • http://slamonline.com a. sam

    I need Kamla on the fantasy show every night again, as well as Rucker games and the White Shadow in the summer to go with the NBA summer league action.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    What about the Charles Oakley Cooking Hour?

  • http://www.myspace.com/linkstigatorkevin Kevin Wilson

    A few suggestions: 1. The Bowen segment could be much longer. 2. “The Magic Hour” when Howard Stern comes on. 3. “WTF Happened,” a show chronicling the careers of should-beens that fell short either due to injury, off-the-court problems or simply being overrated by the teams that acquired them. Features to include Dana Barros (Celtics years only), Stanley Roberts and Michael Olowokandi.

  • Guillaume

    Why is Parker always forgotten amongst “the obscene amount of talent at the one” ? (yes, i’m French)
    I love the idea of “WTF happened”.
    “Being Starbury” would be a good show, too.

  • Todd Spehr

    Kevin, I spoke with my producers and we can get the Bowen show a weekly slot, sound good? With ‘WTF Happened’… man, that would be good. Maybe hosted by Harold Miner?

    Guillaume, good point on Parker. Apologies to the French.

  • Todd Spehr

    And “Being Starbury” wouldn’t get beyond the pilot.

  • NosebleedSeats

    I think Sheed needs a reality show where he’s wired on the court…or KG. I don’t see how viewership could be any worse than anything on BET.