TNT Turning Pacers-Knicks Into 'The Reggie Miller Show' Came Back to Bite Them

With TNT focused on all things Reggie Miller, viewers were left in the dark about Jalen Brunson's injury.
Knicks fans really let Miller know how they feel about him during Game 2 vs. the Pacers.
Knicks fans really let Miller know how they feel about him during Game 2 vs. the Pacers. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

1. I have done nothing but praise TNT for its NBA coverage over the years, so I hate to do this, but Wednesday night was a rough night for the network.

It was a double whammy of bad. In going so over the top for Reggie Miller calling a game at Madison Square Garden, TNT left viewers in the dark for way too long about Jalen Brunson’s injury.

With Brunson pouring in 40 points per game night after night in the postseason, his disappearance with about three minutes left in the first quarter was about a billion times more important than the played-out “Reggie Miller Show” that TNT shoved down everyone’s throat for three hours.

This isn’t something exclusive to TNT. When any sports network gets a “storyline,” they love to bludgeon viewers to death with it. But the “Miller is the No. 1 Enemy of New York” narrative (1) isn’t that relevant today, and (2) didn’t need nearly the amount of time TNT spent on it.

Miller is working the Timberwolves-Nuggets series with Kevin Harlan for TNT, but with those teams having Wednesday off, TNT thought it would be fun to have the former Pacers legend work with Brian Anderson and Stan Van Gundy because he has a history with the Knicks.

The problem was that TNT tried to make Miller's presence more important than the game. First of all, outside of people in New York and Indiana, nobody cares about Miller’s history with the Knicks. In addition, current Knicks and Pacers fans cared way more about the importance and ramifications of Game 2 than having a three-hour history lesson.

But there was Reggie on the pregame show. There was Reggie with Spike Lee. There was a highlight package of Reggie against the Knicks. There was more highlights of Reggie against the Knicks.

It was all too much and it became a problem when Brunson left the game late in the first quarter and viewers were left in the dark for a long time before sideline reporter Chris Haynes finally told us late in the second quarter that the superstar guard was questionable to return with a sore foot.

From three minutes left in the first quarter to three minutes left in the second quarter, the audience got zero information about one of the most important players in the playoffs. However, the audience got information about ... Miller‘s ancient history of being a thorn in the Knicks' side.

When TNT first released its second-round broadcast assignments, I was bummed we wouldn’t be getting the great Kevin Harlan on the Knicks-Pacers series. After Wednesday night, I’m thrilled Miller is headed to Minnesota for the next few days.

2. Speaking of the NBA on TNT, this is what Warner Brothers Discovery (TNT’s parent company) CEO David Zaslav said on Thursday about where negotiations stand between his company and the league, as we await word on whether NBC will steal the NBA package from TNT in the next round of television deals.

3. A brand-new SI Media With Jimmy Traina podcast dropped this morning and it features a conversation with Katie Nolan.

Nolan, who is a lifelong Patriots fans, breaks down all aspects of The Roast of Tom Brady on Netflix: Best and worst roasters, what made her cringe, what was wrong with Ben Affleck, why was Bill Belichick so enjoyable, why was Kim Kardashian there, why was it so long and much, much more.

Nolan also talks about where her career is at, why she didn't join Dan Le Batard's Meadowlark Media when she was offered a job there, what she's looking for in sports media, her appearance on Celebrity Jeopardy! and more.

Following Nolan, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY joins me for our weekly "Traina Thoughts" segment. This week's topics include more on the Tom Brady roast, the Drake-Kendrick Lamar beef, the Kentucky Derby, Netflix possibly airing Christmas Day NFL games and more.

You can also listen to theSI Media With Jimmy Traina on Apple and Spotify. You can also watch it on Sports Illustrated‘s YouTube channel.

4. If this wasn’t on ESPN’s official Twitter account, I 100% would’ve thought it was a fake tweet. There’s no doubt the officiating in the Pacers-Knicks series has been bad, and Indiana got screwed in a major way in Game 1 with that ridiculous offensive foul call on Myles Turner late in the game, but this right here is some high-level whining.

5. I sent out this tweet on Sunday night during The Roast of Tom Brady.

Julian Edelman has confirmed that I read the situation correctly. On the latest episode of his podcast, Edelman described a pre-roast scene in which Robert Kraft walked into a room that was filled with ex-Patriots players and Bill Belichick, thusly: “The tension in that room . . . could cut f---ing glass. That was so awkward.”

6. On Tuesday, I called into Chris "Mad Dog" Russo's SiriusXM show and begged him not to watch The Roast of Tom Brady because I knew he would hate it. That kind of shock humor is not Russo's thing at all. Here is my call to Russo.

However, Mad Dog didn't listen to me. And then he gave us the exact reaction that I predicted he would have on First Take.

Meanwhile, Russo repeatedly bashed me on his Wednesday SiriusXM show for loving the Brady roast while ignoring the fact that I was 100% correct in my assessment that he would hate it. As he would say, “bad job outta you.”

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 75th birthday to Billy Joel. Don’t get fooled by the masses. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant is a million times better than Piano Man.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.


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Jimmy Traina

JIMMY TRAINA

Jimmy Traina is a media writer and podcast host for Sports Illustrated. A 20-year veteran, he’s been covering the media industry for seven years and writes a weekly column at SI, Traina Thoughts. Jimmy has hosted the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast since 2018, a show known for interviews with some of the most important and powerful people in sports media. He also was the creator and writer for SI’s Hot Clicks feature from 2007 to 2013.