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Stephen A. Smith Will Join ‘Inside The NBA’ As Part Of ESPN And TNT’s In-Season Tournament Crossover Broadcast


The NBA is going all-out to try and make the In-Season Tournament a big deal. The Group Stage will come to an end on Tuesday night, setting the stage for the 8-team knockout round to begin next week with the quarterfinals, followed by the semifinals and finals in Las Vegas on December 7 and 9.

For the semifinals, the league will bring its two national broadcast partners together in a rare crossover event for the semifinals, where ESPN and TNT personalities and broadcast crews will intermingle for the action in Vegas.For the game broadcasts on Dec. 7, Kevin Harlan, Candace Parker, Doc Rivers, and Allie LaForce will make up one broadcast, while Mike Breen, Doris Burke, Reggie Miller, and Lisa Salters will handle the other game. Prior to the games, TNT’s NBA Tip-Off and ESPN’s NBA Countdown crews will both be on-site for pregame and will have some interplay between the two shows, while Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon will stick around after the late game to join Ernie, Chuck, Shaq, and Kenny on Inside the NBA on TNT.

While Charles Barkley has occasionally popped up on First Take, we’ve don’t ever really see Stephen A. or other ESPN personalities end up on TNT’s airwaves, and I’m sure there will be some hijinks as the Inside crew gets to take some cracks at Stephen A. (and Wilbon, to a lesser extent). Smith is almost always the one in control on his shows, but he’ll be stepping into a whole different world on Inside, which could lead to some hilarity.