Notes from Today’s Turner Sports 2018 NBA All-Star Media Conference Call

Highlights from today's Turner Sports 2018 NBA All-Star Conference Call


Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018  

Editor's note: Audio & time stamps by topic from today's Turner Sports 2018 NBA All-Star media conference call with Chris Webber and Reggie Miller can be found by clicking here.

TNT will be the exclusive home for extensive live coverage of NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles, Feb. 15-18. Turner Sports, marking its 33rd year of All-Star coverage, will televise more than 24 hours of NBA All-Star programming on TNT culminating with the 67th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia from Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 18.

Sunday’s game will showcase captain-drafted teams for the first time in the event’s history.  Marv Albert, calling his 23rd NBA All-Star Game, will provide play-by-play commentary for the game with our two analysts on today’s call – Reggie Miller and Chris Webber.

TNT will showcase the 2018 Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars on Friday, Feb. 16, followed by State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, Feb. 17. The TNT Players Only broadcast team will bring their unique perspectives to Saturday night’s festivities, with Brent Barry, Webber, Miller and Dennis Scott joined by Kenny Smith. Prior to the night’s live action, TNT will premiere a one-hour Players Only conversation between NBA legends Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.

TNT’s multiple-time Sports Emmy Award-winning Inside the NBA team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and O’Neal will provide nightly coverage live from the NBA on TNT American Express Road Show from L.A. LIVE. Kevin Garnett will also contribute from LA on Area 21.

NBA TV will offer wall-to-wall coverage of NBA All-Star 2018, including an hour-long Players Only: Monthly conversation between Boston Celtics legends Larry Bird and Kevin McHale on All-Star Monday, a special Open Court: Rookies on Monday as well, and newly formatted shows covering NBA All-Star Media Day and practices on Friday and Saturday.

Select quotes from today's conference call follow. For the full audio, please click here.

"My first one was very special… What was really special is it was the [NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team]. George Gervin patted me on the back and said, ‘I knew I’d see you here one day.’ I was in a room of all legends, the greatest to ever play the game. It was something that I’ll never forget. It was great playing in the game, but I remember more about the weekend than I do playing in that game."
Chris Webber on what he remembers most about his first All-Star Game in 1997
"I was literally knees shaking walking into my locker room when there’s [Michael Jordan], Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, I was in awe. Then across the way, there’s Magic [Johnson], James Worthy, etc. Kevin Johnson and myself, I believe were the only first-timers in that 1990 game. I have to believe I was star struck, I was a kid in a candy store. I’ll always remember being so nervous on the bus ride over, keeping my head down. I couldn’t believe being the presence of all these Hall of Famers."
Reggie Miller on memories of his first All-Star Game in 1990
"I think that they’re a dangerous matchup for anybody in the playoffs and as far as Dwyane Wade, there’s not anyone on that team that I’d rather take the last shot in the playoffs… I think he can absolutely play great in spurts, not like he used to, but in spurts, which you never know what that can do in the playoffs."
Webber on the Miami Heat acquiring Dwyane Wade at the trade deadline
"I’m wondering, have [the Celtics] reached their ceiling? They’ve had so many games where they’ve been down by double digits and you can look at it two ways - they’ve come back and won a lot of those ball games, but how good are they really if they are down? Teams don’t fear them, like they do LeBron James or Golden State, Houston, and nobody’s talking about Toronto. To me, it's Cleveland, Toronto, Boston in terms of the Eastern Conference in my pecking order."
Miller on the race in the Eastern Conference
"If he was not this good, it would not matter... To me - and to some of my colleagues - it seems as if LeBron wants to come back... I don’t know, if you look at Golden State and other teams, would they need a LeBron, they're already a championship caliber team? Why would he go to L.A. where he might not be a top-4 team in the West? I think that Cleveland, what he’s done for the economy and what he’s done for his city and the organization, I think he has the right to be judicious in making a decision… I think it’s about winning and protecting his legacy."
Webber on the power wielded by LeBron James as a pending free agent
"It's been a win-win for both organizations. Paul George has, I think, found new life in OKC. I think he's a great complimentary player to Russell Westbrook... To me, Victor Oladipo will probably win Most Improved Player this year... I really believe he learned a lot playing with Russell Westbrook last year, in terms of game preparation, taking care of your body, being prepared and that has shown in Indiana... In fact, you could say that the Pacers came out ahead."
Miller on the off-season Indiana/OKC trade headlined by 2018 NBA All-Stars Paul George and Victor Oladipo
"Is it mathematically possible [to sign Klay Thompson to the largest contract], with [Kevin] Durant and [Stephen] Curry on the team? I really don’t know. It seems like he is unappreciated… As great as he is, his unselfishness and [steady, quiet] demeanor can get him lost from a fan perspective. I just think it’s going to come down to the business of basketball and the numbers, nothing more, nothing less."
Webber on what will determine the long-term prospects of Klay Thompson staying with the Warriors
"Let’s face it, there’s only been a handful of players that have ever wielded this type of power that could shift the fortunes of a team… If you have the power you’ve got to be able to use it so at the end of the day really LeBron is chasing a legacy. Personally, if you’re asking me, I don’t think he leaves."
Miller on James's free agency this off-season
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