Chris Webber could be out at TNT after March Madness frustration

TNT could have a completely new look with its top NBA broadcast team next season, The Post has learned. While Marv Albert’s legendary career may conclude after he does the Eastern Conference...

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TNT could have a completely new look with its top NBA broadcast team next season, The Post has learned.

While Marv Albert’s legendary career may conclude after he does the Eastern Conference Finals,  sources said that Chris Webber’s return for next year is also very much in question. 

No retirement decision has yet been made by Albert, arguably the greatest NBA play-by-player of all-time, on if he will try to continue his career after this season.  

Albert, who turns 80 in June, has worked NBA games for nearly six decades. He is in the final season of what was a five-year deal he signed when he was 75. In February, Albert told The Post, his career was “winding down.” Still, nothing is official yet.

As for Webber, he has been on TNT’s No. 1 team for a few seasons now, but has yet to fully connect with the audience. The feeling that Webber may not return has been building for a while.

In March, Webber did not help himself —  if he wishes to continue to call games — by informing Turner officials very late that he would not do the NCAA Tournament that took place in Indiana’s “bubble” format. 

While TNT has been very understanding about COVID concerns throughout the pandemic, the fact that Webber waited until the last moment before bailing was looked upon as poor form.

When CBS/Turner had their press conference to preview the tournament, it did not have the announcements of its broadcast teams, as it customarily did in years past. This was not that big a deal, but the reason was because of Webber’s indecision.

Reggie Miller also did not participate in the tournament, however he and his wife just had a baby. Miller informed the networks ahead of time.

It’s possible both Chris Webber (l.) and Marv Albert (r.) could be gone from TNT’s NBA booth next season.
NBAE via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Webber’s absence led to Grant Hill’s emergence. During the opening two rounds of the NCAAs, working with Ian Eagle, Hill sounded like a different analyst in a two-man booth. Hill’s contract, like Webber’s and Albert’s, is up at the end of this season. Besides Miller, TNT also has Jim Jackson as a game analyst. 

Paul Pierce, recently fired by ESPN after racy Instagram videos, is a free agent, while Richard Jefferson is in the final season of his ABC/ESPN contract. 

If Albert does retire or leaves, Turner has Eagle, Kevin Harlan and Brian Anderson as play-by-players on staff. 

At one point, Anderson had the inside track to replace Albert. That was seen as former head of Turner David Levy’s preference. Anderson has been Turner’s lead MLB play-by-player.

Now, it is more wide open. Turner may prefer to not declare anyone the new No. 1 and go with a closer by committee sort of approach. The difference between the No. 1 team and the others is doing the All-Star game, as well as a conference final. It would lose a little panache if Turner went that route.

While Albert is not at his pinnacle in the booth, he is the best to ever do it. His potential retirement is possible, though, nothing is official just yet.

Morning Zu Update

ESPN Radio’s morning show, “Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin,” have been without their point guard for a while. Zubin Mehenti has been dealing with complications related to recent diabetes diagnosis that has kept him out.

In his place, Alan Hahn has been very good, moving the conversation and offering opinions with Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams. 

Meanwhile, in mid-days, Bart Scott has picked up the same groove where he left off with Chris Carlin, as the two work smoothly together, dating back to their run with WFAN.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Andrew Marchand

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