NBA Today debuted this afternoon, the sports new home on ESPN following the dissolution of The Jump. Malika Andrews welcomed viewers in a day out from the start of the season, standing alongside Adrian Wojnarowski and promising to joined by an expert panel of analysts and insiders. Since this is a dawning of a new era and a chance to make a memorable first impression, the show tasked Los Angeles Lakers public address announcer Lawrence Tanter to provide a little flair.
Richard Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins and Chiney Ogwumike had their heights revealed like real ballplayers and Zach Lowe, well, now we know how a senior writer would be announced to the crowd.
It'd be interesting to know what Tanter can collect for something like that. Seems like having a world-class voice is a great gig. Show up, make a few chests rattle like the voice of God, shake a few hands and collect a nice check later. Makes a person resent their nasally, authoritative Midwestern accent.
All odds are this was a one-time thing but it'd be a good bit if NBA Today did it for each and every episode. If anything, that's 90 seconds that doesn't have to be filled with other content.
On the whole, the first episode was as advertised, with the new show oftentimes feeling out of the same playbook as NFL Live. Which makes sense as that vehicle has been a major success. Time will tell, though.