What NBATV Should Be

by November 20, 2008

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.