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Kevin Harlan shares details of TNT’s plan for covering NBA restart in Orlando

The NBA is tentatively planning to resume the 2019-20 season on July 31 in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. Along with the countless details that still need to be worked out beforehand is how the NBA’s television broadcast partners will cover the action.

Longtime TNT announcer Kevin Harlan recently shared some details about how the network will handle the unprecedented challenge of televising games that will be held in a bubble format in which broadcasters initially will not be allowed to be on site for games.

“What I’ve heard from the folks at TNT is we will be in the studios in Atlanta and they will set up as close to possible a broadcast table like we would have courtside,” Harlan said this week on SiriusXM NBA Radio, according to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic. “We will have, I’m assuming, crowd noise pumped into our headsets.”

The NBA’s plan is to allow approximately 1,600 individuals in the Orlando bubble at any given time, and it appears the intent is to loosen restrictions on who can be on site once the postseason begins. It’s also believed that announcers will likely be on location starting with the conference finals.

The NBA continues to deliberate how to infuse an otherwise sterile environment with some atmosphere despite the lack of fans in attendance. Harlan believes the live sports-starved viewing public will adapt to the unfamiliar situation and enjoy the action.

“For the viewer, I don’t think it’s going to seem dramatically different,” Harlan said. “Now, you’re not going to have courts that you recognize from Milwaukee, or Los Angeles, or Boston, so that’s going to be a little bit weird. But if we’re all just kind of sitting there watching, I don’t know that we’ll really notice a great deal of difference.”

There have been a handful of players who have expressed some trepidation about the NBA’s return-to-play plan, but most of them are eager to return to the court. Fans undoubtedly will quickly get on board as well with the odd situation and simply relish the return of live sports.