The Five Best Former NBA Players Turned Analysts
With the 2010 NBA Playoffs finally coming to a close, basketball fans enter into a period of vast speculation, transaction and discussion.
For any keen hoops fan this week is NBA Draft Week, and what will follow come July 1 will be arguably the greatest free-agent signing period in NBA History.
While there will be no live games to watch, fans of the NBA will be tuning in to listen to their favorite NBA analysts and commentators give their take on the moves that are going down as well as all the latest rumors.
This presentation highlights the very best former NBA players who continued their passion for basketball by becoming analysts following retirement. Please note that this is the best players who are now analysts, they are not being judged on their skills as analysts but rather during their playing days.
Disclaimer: I apologize in advance if I have omitted any players who you feel fit the bill of being in this article. There are a lot of players who have been analysts or served as substitute analysts (e.g. Scottie Pippen) and it was a difficult process to narrow the list down.
5. Chris Webber
A member of the "Fab Five" from his days in Michigan, Webber was the first overall pick in the 1993 draft and had a very successful NBA career.
He was a five time NBA All-Star and was selected for the All-NBA First Team in 2001.
Despite not winning a championship Webber revived a Sacramento franchise and brought it back to relevancy.
If not for some playoff heroics by the great Robert Horry, Webber may have succeeded in leading the Kings to the NBA Finals and and their second NBA Championship in 2002.
Since retiring in 2008 Webber has become an analyst for NBA TV's Gametime Live and also serves as a guest on TNT's Inside the NBA.
4. Reggie Miller
If you don't know of Reggie Miller and his playoff heroics then you aren't a true fan of the NBA.
Miller was the 11th overall pick in the 1987 draft and spent his entire career in Indiana.
He became known for his incredible playoff feats, such as when he scored eight points in eight seconds against the New York Knicks in 1995.
Among Reggie's other notable performances is his remarkable 25-point fourth quarter against the Knicks in 1994 which occurred as he jawed off to famous Knicks fan and film director Spike Lee.
Miller retired in 2005 with five NBA All-Star selections to his name and over 25,000 career points.
He currently works as an NBA Commentator and Analyst for TNT alongside his older sister Cheryl Miller.
3. Bill Walton
Unfortunately Bill Walton played before my era, but is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats of the game.
He played under John Wooden at UCLA and won the College Player of the Year award three years in a row.
Walton would go on to be the first overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft and win two NBA Championships while with the Portland Trailblazers and Boston Celtics.
He retired in 1990 and was subsequently inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1993.
Following his retirement Walton became a successful NBA Commentator and Analyst for NBC (1990-2002) as well as ABC and ESPN (2002-2009).
2. Charles Barkley
"The Round Mound of Rebound" was one of the most dominant window cleaners and physically imposing undersized big men in NBA History.
Barkley entered the NBA as the fifth overall pick in the 1984 draft and would go on to play for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets over a successful 16-year career.
Widely regarded as one of the best players of his era, "Sir Charles" led Phoenix to the NBA Finals in 1993 while claiming the regular season MVP along the way.
He retired in 2000 with 11 NBA All-Star selections to his name and as one of the NBA's Greatest 50 Players as named in 1996.
Since 2000 Barkley has served as an NBA Studio Analyst for TNT while appearing on the program Inside the NBA and featuring in highlight events like the annual NBA All-Star Weekend.
1. Magic Johnson
Who could be at the top of this list but the man they called Earvin "Magic" Johnson? To most NBA fans this man needs no introduction, but for the few that are young or uneducated I will provide a quick summary.
Johnson was the first overall pick in the 1979 draft and had an incredible career which was highlighted by his rivalry with Celtics legend Larry Bird, and his championship achievements as the leader of the "Showtime Lakers."
As a rookie in the 1980 finals he filled in for the injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at center and would tally 42 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists en route to claiming the Finals MVP.
Over the course of his career Johnson won five NBA Championships and was a three-time Regular Season and Finals MVP.
Following his retirement Johnson was an NBA Commentator and Analyst for TNT before making the switch to ESPN's NBA Countdown in 2008.