The NBA on TNT is quickly becoming the best way to watch the NBA, with a brilliant cast of contributors making any Tuesday or Thursday night exciting.
Who are the NBA on TNT commentators? Kevin Harlan, Brian Anderson, Ian Eagle and Spero Dedes are the play-by-play commentators for TNT, with Reggie Miller, Stan Van Gundy, Jim Jackson and Grant Hill all contributing as colour commentators.
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The NBA on TNT is quickly becoming the best NBA coverage on all USA networks. One of the main reasons for that is the studio team that they have, including NBA legends Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal alongside the brilliant Ernie Johnson and insightful Kenny Smith.
But the NBA on TNT also has quite the cast of game commentators. Kevin Harlan is the most well-known out of TNTs play-by-play commentators. Harlan began broadcasting as a teenager in high school, calling the play-by-play for his high schools boys’ basketball, football and ice hockey teams.
Who is Kevin Harlan?
Right out of college, Harlan became the TV and radio voice for the Kansas City Kings who would become the Sacramento Kings before calling games for the Kansas City Chiefs. Harlan would continue down the path of being a football commentator, calling games for the Jacksonville Jaguar, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
He began working in the NBA in the early 2000s and has since produced many notable calls, including as Kawhi Leonard hit the game-winner in Game 7 of the 2019 Eastern Conference SemiFinals.
Harlan is one of the few play-by-play announcers who covers both the NBA and NFL. He is able to do this because Harlan is a brilliant commentator, incredibly creative with his words. Harlan can input humour into moments you might not expect as well as making the most mundane moments seem incredibly exciting.
Who is Brian Anderson?
Brian Anderson is one of the other play-by-play commentators and had a similar start in sports commentary as Harlan. Neither of them started off covering basketball, but Anderson started off covering baseball for ESPN.
He started off in 1998, covering the Minor League and Little League Baseball telecasts for ESPN and continued to work his way up the ranks while covering baseball. He has called many different MLB playoff series since 2008, including covering the 2011 National League Championship Series when current TNT co-worker Ernie Johnson was caring for his son Michael.
He began to cover basketball more in 2009 when he first started commentating on NCAA games for ESPN. This was the start of Anderson covering a lot more basketball games than he had done before, first working for NBA on TNT in 2014, usually in a fill-in position or as a third announcer.
It took five years, but by 2019 Anderson was finally promoted to be one of the lead commentators for NBA on TNT when they removed the “Players Only” broadcast for the 2019-20 season. He became one of the lead announcers, specifically for the Tuesday games and is usually partnered by colour commentators Jim Jackson or Stan Van Gundy.
It has been a very successful move for TNT for a couple of reasons. The first is that Anderson has already started producing iconic calls including being on commentary when Damian Lillard hit his killer three to send the Oklahoma City Thunder home in the 2019 Western Conference first-round match-up.
Anderson has been such a hit on TNT that he was the perfect man to be on the call for TNT’s “The Match” golf series over the last few years. Anderson has been on call for all of the events over the last few years that have featured legends like Tom Brady, Phil Mickelson, Steph Curry and Peyton Manning as well as many more.
Who is Ian Eagle?
Anderson’s most common partner on the broadcast is Ian Eagle. Eagle is another commentator who has a broad sports knowledge, announcing football, basketball and lacrosse for his university.
His work focused on the NFL and NCAA when Eagle joined CBS in 1998. Nationally, Eagle first gained attention when he joined former NFL quarterback Dan Fouts to become the number three broadcast team for CBS NFL coverage. This happened in 2010, the same year that Eagle first called NBA playoff games for TNT.
TNT seemed to warm to him very quickly and since then, Eagle has covered the NBA playoffs and in particular the first two rounds of the playoffs. He does not always cover the playoffs for TNT. As a fan of his local team the Brooklyn Nets, Eagle will often cover their playoff series for YES instead of for TNT.
Much like any successful basketball commentator, Eagle needs those iconic calls and he had one of his best in the 2022 playoffs when Ja Morant viciously dunked over Minnesota Timberwolves player Malik Beasley.
Who is Spero Dedes
As with any good commentary team, you need a capable backup and Spero Dedes has filled that role so far for the NBA on TNT. Born in New Jersey, Dedes actually first started working in sports radio as an announcer for the New Jersey Gladiators of the AFL as well as a fill-in announcer for the New Jersey Nets on the YES Network, the same network that Ian Eagle covers.
His big break in basketball came when Dedes became the radio announcer for the Los Angeles Lakers all the way back in 2005 and it led him to a permanent, full-time role with CBS in 2009, having been a fill-in guy for many years.
Since then, Dedes primary work has been covering the NFL on CBS, with fans loving his eccentric and exciting calls on touchdowns, alongside commentary partner Jay Feely as announcing team number 6.
But Dedes is also the primary guy who fills in whenever one of the play-by-play commentators cannot be present for the NBA on TNT. He is technically known as the number 5 announcer for TNT as the first four cover the Tuesday and Thursday games in pairs, making Dedes the network’s first call if one of the top four cannot make it.