- Here’s a list of six NBA players who turned analysts.
- Chris Webber leads the list.
There are several options for NBA players who retired from the game after their playing years. Some of them divulge themselves into coaching and entrepreneurship, but others impart their basketball expertise into broadcasting by being analysts to different networks and share their insights to different basketball odds.
This opportunity is usually offered after a player is fresh off his last year to serve as a commentator or analyst during games. In recent years, we have seen a rise in the number of individuals receiving this chance.
Today, we will look into the top six NBA players turned analysts who are thriving in giving their hot takes on who leads the NBA championship odds.
Chris Webber spent 13 years in the NBA as a player and suited up for five different teams, with his stint with Sacramento being the most memorable years. As a player, he piled up individual accolades, such as being the Rookie of the Year awardee in 1994 and named in the NBA All-Star game five times. However, he failed to win a championship. After his last year in 2008, Webber was offered to be a broadcaster in Turner Sports and became a color commentator and studio analyst for the company. His contract was not renewed in May 2021 due to a lack of negotiations from both parties.
Reggie Miller is one of the most outstanding three-point shooters of all time. He is third on the list for the most three-point field goals with 2,560. Miller played for the Indiana Pacers throughout his career but never captured a title. Shortly after playing his last NBA game, he joined TNT as a game analyst and has been with them ever since. The Pacer great even turned down an offer by Boston in 2007 to remain with Turner Sports, where he is frequently paired with Marv Albert.
Magic Johnson was the anchor of the ‘’Showtime’’ Lakers in the 1980s, which produced several achievements for him, including five NBA titles (including three Finals MVP), three regular-season MVPs and 12-time NBA All-Star selections. Johnson spent a few years coaching and managing his businesses, but he found himself in the broadcasting field when he joined ESPN as a part-time studio analyst in 2008 for NBA Countdown alongside Michael Sage. Magic’s tenure with ESPN spans from 2008-2013, 2016-2017 and 2021 until today.
Though he receives a lot of criticism because of his hot and controversial takes from time to time, Charles Barkley remains one of the famous personalities in basketball. An illustrious 16-year NBA career with several individual accolades such as one regular-season MVP in 1993, All-Rookie team in 1985, eleven NBA All-Star selections, and five All-NBA 1st team inclusions, have earned Charles Barkley a spot in Turner Sports to be a studio analyst. Barkley carried over his on-court persona and swag to become a successful broadcaster for TNT. This success won him four Sports Emmy Awards.
Bill Walton earned two NBA Championships during his short yet legendary 10-year career in the NBA. He was able to play for three teams (Trail Blazers, Clippers and Boston) and picked up a title with Portland and Boston in 1977 and 1986. Walton also collected one MVP award, a Sixth Man of the Year honor, two NBA All-Star Selections, and one All-NBA 1st team. The 6-foot-11 center replicated this success off the court when he became a broadcaster in ESPN as an analyst and color commentator. There, he was able to win an Emmy Award and was included in the top 50 sports broadcasters of all-time in 2009 by the American Sportscasters Association.
Like Bill Walton, Kenny Smith only had a decade of playing career in the NBA. His ten-year stay in the league saw him win back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995 as the primary playmaker of the Houston Rockets team. A year after his last game as a member of the Denver Nuggets, he immediately switched as an analyst for TNT in 1998. He formed a solid lineup with Ernie Johnson and two other former players, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, as the network’s primary NBA analysts. Smith hasn’t won an award yet for his broadcasting work, but he has received multiple nominations for different categories.
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