Longtime TNT ‘Inside the NBA’ producer Tim Kiely retiring
One of the legendary stalwarts behind the scenes in sports media is moving on.
Tim Kiely, the longtime producer for TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” is retiring from the job after nearly 30 years, The Post has confirmed.
“Tim Kiely is a visionary who has reinvented studio shows for generations of sports fans,” said Craig Barry, Chief Content Officer, WBD Sports.
“As the architect of TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA’, his influence and impact on sports media has been profound, and it will live on through the countless producers he has mentored through the years. We wish ‘TK’ all the best in his retirement and thank him for all he’s done for our company and broader industry.”
Kiely became producer of “Inside the NBA” in 1995, overseeing the additions of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal to the program that Ernie Johnson has hosted since 1990.
“I started in ’95,” Kiely told Sports Media Watch in 2009. “Kenny was first, after, he was sort of on a temporary tryout. He still wasn’t sure whether he was going to try to play again, but his career was basically over because he had bad knees. And he was great. He was great in the studio, and he had no pretensions, was totally unaffected by television, and where am I looking and what do I look like, and how much time do I have. And he just was himself. And it was fun.
“And I think Charles saw that in the few years, because we started to have a lot of fun, we would bring guests in and do the kind of things that we do now, pull gags, and do fun stuff. And Charles was quoted when he signed with us, because he had some other offers, obviously, that he thought that we, quote, were having the most fun. And that was his whole thing, [imitating Charles] ‘it better be fun, boy, or I’m not doing it.’”
In a 2014 interview with Next TV, Kiely opened up about how the crew operates sans a teleprompter and embraces their gaffes on-air.
“That’s the heart of the show,” Kiely said. “We will point out mistakes and make fun of them.”
He emphasized that the analysts focus on what each other were saying — not the camera.
“I want them to talk to each other,” Kiely said. “Once you look at cameras, you lose the conversation.”
Kiely also produced Turner Sports’ MLB studio coverage, and over the years had been involved with the networks’ coverage of NASCAR, college football, Braves baseball and Wimbeldon.
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