What Basketball Stars Went on to Have Successful Broadcasting Careers?


As of today, it would appear that a degree in Journalism or Broadcasting is not required to pursue a television career; professional athletes have been demonstrating to us how it should be done. You only need the gift of gab, and if you know what you’re talking about and have succeeded as a professional athlete, you’ll get a position on major networks like ESPN, TNT, or NBATV. 

All you need is to be good at communicating and have knowledge of the game. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is home to a large number of retired players who have since found success in the field of sports broadcasting. They have dunked the ball, performed some spectacular basketball skills, and won NBA championships in front of our very eyes. As a result of their championship-winning careers or record-breaking portfolios, these ex-hoopsters are now working as personalities in the sports broadcast industry.

Charles Barkley

The former Phoenix Suns power forward was honored as Sports Illustrated’s Person of the Year back in 2002 for his outgoing nature. Even after he retired from basketball, Barkley has continued to rely on the magnetic quality of his personality as a source of revenue. 

He is currently ranked as the NBA’s 23rd all-time leading scorer. The one who says whatever he pleases. Inside the NBA on TNT features Barkley as an analyst with Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, both of whom are former NBA basketball players. Approximately 1.8 million people watch the program each week. 

In 2002, the former basketball great who is now enshrined in the hall of fame renewed his contract with the network for what was rumored to be a million and a half dollars each year. Barkley, known for his affable nature and bald head, has been able to capitalize on additional opportunities to make money thanks to his time spent on television. Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man, a nonfiction book written by Barkley and released by Penguin Press in 2005, debuted at number one on The New York Times Bestseller List and brought Barkley an income of several million dollars.

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson’s annual salary was only $100,000 when he signed his first deal with the Seattle Supersonics, who were known as the Sonics at the time. He is well known for his pivotal part on the San Antonio Spurs team that defeated the New York Knicks and won the NBA championship in the year 1999. 

In 2005, he took his retirement from the Dallas Mavericks. The total amount that he made was $36,400,400.  After being dismissed from his position as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets in December 2012, Johnson has rejoined ESPN’s coverage of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After he was let go from his coaching position with the Mavericks in 2008, he took a job at ESPN.


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Reggie Miller

In the first round of the 1987 NBA draft, the Pacers selected Reggie Miller. Similar to how he led the Indiana Pacers early in his career, he developed a solid reputation. Against the Charlotte Hornets in 1992, Miller scored a career-high 57 points. In the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals versus the Knicks, he later became well-known. He crashed to the ground at the close of the 1996 campaign, hurting his eye. Later, the Pacers were eliminated after losing to the Hawks. In 1998, the Pacers made the playoffs once more after missing them in 1997. Similarly, the basketball star and the Pacers were seen as one of the East’s favorites entering the 1999 season. 

The highest-scoring team in postseason history was formed by Reggie and Jalen Rose on May 6, 2000, when they combined for 40 points. Miller made his 2,000th three-point attempt on March 18, 2001, while playing the Sacramento Kings. Rigger averaged 19.5 points per game and 21,319 total points during the 2000–2001 NBA season. Likewise, Miller was named to the NBA Third Team three times and the All-Star Game five times. Miller once held the record for most points scored by the Indiana Pacers, but these days he works as a game analyst for TNT. 

The former Pacers shooting guard even modified his Twitter handle to reflect his new role. In a new agreement signed in October 2014, ESPN and TNT secured the next nine years’ worth of NBA game broadcast rights. According to the New York Times, the contract is worth $2.66 billion annually. There is no information on Miller’s TNT compensation, but it is surely in the millions.


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Kenny Smith

Kenny Smith is a well-known commentator on American sports who formerly competed as a professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association, also known as the NBA. As of right this moment, Kenny is employed as a basketball analyst on the TNT show Inside the NBA, which has won an Emmy Award. Additionally, during the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament, Kenny works as an analyst for CBS and Turner. 

NBA fans are familiar with the moniker Kenny Smith, also known as The Jet. Kenny Smith was given the name Kenneth Smith when he was born on March 8, 1965, in Queens, New York. He matured into a well-known basketball player during the course of his career. Even though the seasoned player is now retired, he continues to shine in various matches where he is working as a sportscaster. 

As of the year 2020, former NBA player Kenny Smith has amassed an enormous net worth of $20 million. His wealth came from his time spent playing in the NBA. He was able to amass a million dollars thanks to the success of his career as a basketball player. During the course of his career, Smith has been a member of several illustrious teams, including the Sacramento Kings, the Atlanta Hawks, the Houston Rockets, the Detroit Pistons, the Orlando Magic, and the Denver Nuggets. 

As an athlete, Smith used to collect a paycheck that was worth more than 13 million dollars every year. Indeed, he was able to amass a considerable amount of wealth while he was still actively engaged in the game of basketball. In terms of his present income, it is important to note that even though he is no longer actively competing in sports, he earns a very respectable sum of four million dollars each year working as a basketball analyst for TNT.

Chris Webber

American sportscaster and former NBA basketball player Chris Webber is from the United States. He is a former NBA Rookie of the Year, a five-time All-Star in the NBA, a member of five All-NBA teams, and the former first-round choice of the Golden State Warriors in the lottery. He started as a player for several teams, including the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Bullets. He was named Mr. Basketball USA in 1991. During his time at Detroit Country Day School from 1987 to 1991, Webber received more recruiting than any other Michigan high school basketball player since Magic Johnson. 

Under Webber’s path, Country Day won three MHSAA State Championships. As a senior in high school, Webber averaged 29.4 points and 13 rebounds each game. In 1990–1991 he was named the National High School Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball in Michigan. He was named MVP in both the McDonald’s and Dapper Dan All-Star games. When he joined the Golden State Warriors in 1993, he began his NBA career and won Rookie of the Year in his first campaign. 

Before joining the Warriors for his final season in 2008, Chris first played for the Washington Bullets/ Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, and Detroit Pistons. He teaches at institutions including Wake Forest University and Morehouse College in addition to providing on-air commentary for NBA games at the moment. 

On the set of TNT’s Inside the NBA, the five-time NBA All-Star has been asked to join basketball great Charles Barkley. The compensation Webber receives for filling in for Barkley is unknown. His appearances on television assist in keeping him in the news. Most recently, Webber participated in a group of prospective owners who submitted a letter of interest to buy the Atlanta Hawks.


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Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, United States. He is an American basketball player who was included in the list of the 50 greatest players in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the year 1996. The fact that O’Neal’s high school team in San Antonio, Texas, won the state championship during his senior year of high school brought a lot of interest from college recruiters. He received his education at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he rose rapidly through the ranks to become one of the most accomplished players in the country.  

In 1991, the majority of voters agreed that he was the best college player overall. In 1992, O’Neal dropped out of school and entered the NBA draft. The Orlando Magic selected him with the first overall pick in the draft. Shaq has played for six different clubs in the NBA, but the season 2004-2005 with the Miami Heat was the one in which he banked the most money, totaling $27,696,430. 

When the 7-foot-1 center concluded his playing career with the Celtics in 2011 and retired, he had racked up a total salary of $292,198,327 by the time he was done. In addition to playing in the NBA, Shaq has a rather impressive resume. He has been in more than five different films, with the roles that made him most famous coming from Blue Chips (1994) and Kazaam (1996 respectively). Additionally, he published five studio albums and one compilation album during his career. Shaq secured a contract with Turner Sports worth multiple millions of dollars in 2011, and he now makes appearances on NBATV and TNT.

Rick Fox

The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers were the only two basketball clubs that Rick Fox ever played for during his whole career in the National Basketball Association or NBA. He had the good fortune, in contrast to many other NBA stars, to begin his career with the Celtics and to retire as a member of that team in 2004, collecting his biggest deal of $4.8 million during that time. During the 1997–1998 season, he played for the Lakers and started all 82 games, averaging 12 points per contest while he was a member of the team. In total, he made $34,029,278 while playing in the NBA. 

During his time as a student at the University of North Carolina, Fox earned a bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures. Even though he works as a sports commentator, Fox has been in several movies, including Eddie which aired in 1996, Blue Chips (1994), and He Got Game (1998).

Caron Butler

Before becoming a commentator for college basketball on ESPN, Caron Butler had a 14-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA). In addition to that, he has co-hosted a radio show on Fox Sports Radio, provided commentary for ESPN’s coverage of the NBA draft, evaluated games for Spectrum SportsNet involving the Los Angeles Lakers, and written for The Players’ Tribune. Butler is a graduate of Sportscaster University.

Chauncey Billups

Before joining ESPN in 2014, Chauncey Billups had a successful career in the NBA, where he spent 17 seasons. In addition to his role as a studio commentator on NBA Countdown, he has also contributed to ESPN’s coverage of the 2018 NBA draft, written for The Players’ Tribune, and made guest appearances on several other ESPN shows.

Magic Johnson

Earvin Johnson Jr. was born on August 14, 1959, in the city of Lansing, which is located in the state of Michigan, United States. Johnson was known in high school as “Magic” for his inventive and entertaining ballhandling, which gave him the nickname. He was a fierce competitor who led his high school team to a state championship in 1977 and led Michigan State University to the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship in 1979, giving Larry Bird and Indiana State its sole defeat of that season. Both of these accomplishments came during his time as a head coach at Michigan State University. 

After finishing his second year at Michigan State, Johnson decided to pursue a career in professional basketball and was chosen first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1979 NBA draft. Johnson saw his greatest success in the professional ranks, as he led the Los Angeles Lakers to victory in the National Basketball Association championship game on five separate occasions (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988). Johnson played all five positions for the Lakers in the sixth and deciding game of the 1979–80 NBA finals, helping him become the first rookie to win the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. 

His first championship came in his rookie season, and it was the Lakers’ championship that helped Johnson become the first rookie to earn the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) honor. In addition, the league’s Most Valuable Player award was given to him in 1987, 1989, and 1990. 

After he retired from basketball, Magic Johnson went on to become a notable HIV/AIDS activist as well as an incredibly wealthy entrepreneur. As of the year 2020, his investing firm was believed to have holdings of approximately one billion dollars. He was a member of the ownership group that acquired the Los Angeles Dodgers the following year (2012). 

In 2017, he made his return to the Los Angeles Lakers organization, this time serving as an advisor to the team’s owner, Jeanie Buss. Johnson was given leadership of the Lakers’ front office after being appointed to president of basketball operations after only a few weeks in his previous post as general manager of the team. Following a brief and unremarkable term, he abruptly handed in his resignation after the 2018–19 season, citing the fact that he would rather devote his time to serving as an ambassador for the sport.  

On October 2, 2014, Johnson surprised everyone in the sports world by announcing that he would be leaving his job as a sports commentator for ESPN. The five-time NBA champion, in a polite and professional business statement, explained that the nature of his schedule did not allow him to devote the necessary amount of time to the sports portions as he would have liked. The three-time Most Valuable Player received more than $100 million through the sale of 105 Starbucks locations in 2010. 

Additionally, he has ownership stakes with both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. He is one of the athletes who makes the most money. Whether or not he works as a sports analyst, Magic has maintained his financial success.


After retiring from the National Basketball Association also known as the NBA, the next step for some of the game’s biggest and brightest stars is to take their talents to the broadcast booth or the sidelines and finally allow their words to do the talking for them. There are a handful few individuals who continue to provide fans with more entertainment than even some active players do.

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