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NBA TVs Critically Acclaimed Open Court Returns with NBA 50 Greatest & The Next 10 Episode Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 6:30 p.m. ET

Hosted by Ernie Johnson, NBA 50 Greatest Players Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Isiah Thomas Join Panel Featuring Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, NBA Champions Kenny Smith & Chauncey Billups & Five-Time NBA All-Star Chris Webber

Hour-Long Roundtable Discussion Focuses on the Original “NBA 50 Greatest Players” & Those Who Should be Added as All-Time Legends

Thomas – 50 Greatest Honoree & Selection Panelist – to Live Tweet During Tuesday’s Telecast

NBA TV’s critically acclaimed Open Court series will return Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 6:30 p.m. ET with a compelling roundtable discussion centered on the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players and the 10 players the panel believes should be added as all-time legends. The hour-long show features a cast of NBA icons including “NBA 50 Greatest” honorees Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Isiah Thomas discussing their inclusion in the original list, players who should be added to the original 50, and the criteria used to measure greatness.

Open Court’s “NBA 50 Greatest & The Next 10” episode is hosted by Sports Emmy Award winner Ernie Johnson with Barkley, O’Neal and Thomas, along with Hall of Famer Reggie Miller, NBA Champions Kenny Smith and Chauncey Billups and five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber.

The panel – featuring a combination of TNT and NBA TV analysts, along with the recently retired Billups – considers the credentials of current and recent stars including Kevin Durant, Jason Kidd, Tracy McGrady, Steve Nash, Paul Pierce and Dwyane Wade, as well as omissions from the original list such as Bob McAdoo and Dominique Wilkins.  While quick to acknowledge sure-fire additions – Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Allen Iverson and LeBron James – the discussion intensifies when the group weighs the merits of panelists Miller and Webber.

Thomas, a member of the original “50 Greatest” selection panel in 1996, will live tweet during Tuesday’s episode via the @NBATV twitter handle.

The Open Court series will continue weekly throughout October with three additional new episodes – “The Game is Changing” on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 9:30 p.m.; “2014-15 Season Preview” on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m.; and “NBA Champions Edition” on Monday, Oct. 27, at 10 p.m.

Excerpts from the season premiere of Open Court:

O’Neal on being named one the original NBA 50 Greatest Players: “When they named me to the top 50, I felt my name was added a little too quickly. It was my third or fourth year [in the league]…I took a lot of flak for being on the list. I felt like names like Bob McAdoo should have been on that list before me.  Alex English, Dominique Wilkins could’ve easily been on that list before me.”

Barkley on what it meant to be at the ceremony: “When we were all in the room, it was amazing...basketball more than any other sport, especially with the All-Star Weekend…We do such a good job of celebrating our past. I was kind of in shock. You sit around a say, ‘Wow, that’s Wilt Chamberlain. Wow, that’s Bill Russell. That’s Jerry West.  That’s Elgin Baylor.”

Thomas on why Bob McAdoo should be added to the list: “Bob McAdoo was the MVP of this league. When you talk about changing the game, he’s a 6-11 dude shooting threes. He was the first ‘stretch four.’ The original. The real one. He totally changed the game.”

Miller on whether two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash should be added to the list: “If we were all GMs, and you had Jason Kidd, Gary Payton and Steve Nash all lined up, he [Nash] would be the third point guard taken. That’s why I can’t put him on there.”

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