Approximately one week ago, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported that Chris Webber’s future as an NBA analyst with TNT was uncertain. Webber’s contract was reportedly set to end at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season and Marchand noted that Webber “has yet to fully connect with the audience,” also adding a nugget that “the feeling that Webber may not return has been building for a while.”
Fast-forward to Thursday, May 13, and Webber was not present during the final broadcast of the regular season, with Marv Albert accompanied by Reggie Miller, who typically works with Kevin Harlan on the late broadcasts. From there, Marchand provided new reporting indicating that Webber and TNT “have agreed to part ways” just before the 2021 NBA Playoffs begin.
Marchand reports that, as of last week, “there was a feeling that TNT did not want (Webber) back and maybe he didn’t want to return.” Still, this is a bit of an odd exit, particularly with Webber still under contract and TNT owning prime real estate with wall-to-wall postseason coverage beginning next week.
It will be very interesting to see how TNT handles the transition, both in the immediate with playoff coverage and for the long term. There is plenty of buzz that Albert will not return as the No. 1 play-by-play voice, with the option to utilize Kevin Harlan, Ian Eagle or Brian Anderson in a more prominent venue. The choice of Miller to pair with Albert on Thursday could be revealing, but TNT has also placed Jim Jackson in more prominent positions recently.
Regardless, all signs point to the Webber era being over at Turner. His old job, along with his own broadcasting future, are now up in the air.