The 2014-15 NBA Season tipped off Tuesday night with three games on hand. The rest of the NBA followed suit on Wednesday night, but we’re just as charged up for the return of Kristen Ledlow and Grant Hill on the NBA TV edition of “NBA Inside Stuff” premiering for their second season this Saturday (Nov. 1) at noon ET. Call us suckers for nostalgia, but we had to bring you our favorite parts of the old show and the new version that debuted at the beginning of last season.
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The original “NBA Inside Stuff” with host Ahmad Rashad, and co-hosts Julie Moran, Willow Bay and Summer Sanders, got many fans through the doldrums of a pre-NBA League Pass world. Saturday mornings are about cartoons for kids, but when we were kids, it was all about getting us caught up on the off- and on-court antics we’d missed around the Association the previous week.
Rashad’s running commentary might sound corny to some contemporary basketball fans, but the zany footage they captured leant an air of conviviality to the proceedings. Take this old Inside Stuff rewind from 1998-99: You get Zydrunas Illgauskas tripping and bowling over a pair of his Cavs teammates…
…a young Kobe Bryant inadvertently tipping an opponent’s shot into his own basket…
…and the ball completely slipping out of A.C. Green‘s hands.
Bloopers were showcased alongside highlights for a hodgepodge of all the memes and GIFS before either had come into the public consciousness. The weirder the better for off-the-court video sequences, too, with players dressing up in crazy costumes while also giving back to the community. Rewind was Basketball Twitter and Instagram more than a decade before Basketball Twitter or Instagram first popped on the scene.
In an age where some try and take the fun out of basketball by focusing exclusively on the business side of the NBA, watching old Remind clips evokes an innocence about the game that’s never really left.
Watch — or in some cases, re-watch — “Rewind” as its morphed through the years…
AHMAD’s “MAIN MAN”
Ahmad Rashad had so many “Main man” moments, some might say it was impossible to avoid becoming one of his main men when he was interviewing someone for the show. There’s video — by way of Oakley and Allen — to prove there was little exclusivity to the ubiquitous moniker Ahmad bestowed on hundreds of the show’s interviewee’s during his 15-year run as host (1990-2005).
It might have turned into a long-running joke with Inside Stuff producers and whoever was co-hosting with Rashad, but if you’ve ever used the phrase “my main man” unironically, you owe that to Ahmad. Plus, as this tweet from last season shows, he’s still at it.
Me and my main man! Bulls heat!!great coaching job by bulls! pic.twitter.com/7H84xyMN3y
— Ahmad Rashad (@NBATVAhmad) May 7, 2013
We wish were cool enough to recognize some of the musicians featured as the backing tracks for each week’s NBA Inside Stuff Jam Session, but we didn’t. Instead, we’d keep a list of those songs that revved us up during the segment, and we’d head out when we had enough money to see if we could get the artist on cassette or CD (this is where you poke fun at how old we are).
It’s not embellishing to say NBA Jam Session was broke new ground when producers decided to combine the hottest tracks by contemporary musicians and that weeks best slam dunks. It was the first time we can remember seeing all the dunks from the past week in one place AND hear whomever had the hottest music that week. Remember, there wasn’t much of an Internet for the first part of Inside Stuff’s history, so this is how we spent our Saturdays: geeking out over jam session, the MTV-hoops hybrid of our dreams.
One Jam session we had to mention was the special Shawn Kemp “Reign Man” Jam Session backed by Nirvana‘s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Watch the various jam sessions through the years and try not to get too nostalgic when you see your favorite childhood player…
THE NEW CLASS (emphasis on class)
Grant Hill and Kristen Ledlow were named co-hosts of the updated NBA Inside Stuff, which debuted November 2, 2013 on NBA TV. Hill, an 18-year NBA veteran who retired last season, was named to seven NBA all-star teams and five All-NBA teams during his career. He’s also a three-time winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award and was named co-Rookie of the Year in 1995 with current Bucks coach, Jason Kidd.
Ledlow was the co-host of “The Morning Drive,” on 92.9 FM The Game in Atlanta and anchored WTXL-TV 27 News. She’s been a sideline reporter for 97.9 ESPN Radio in Tallahassee, Florida. Before joining forces with Hill, she also worked as a reporter for Fox Sports and Scout.com covering SEC and ACC football and basketball.
The pair is classy, and fun, but not stuffy – re-live their first season together HERE. If you have a young kid, or you are a young kid who loves basketball, or think you might love basketball, tune in to NBA TV this Saturday at noon ET for the start of their second season.
To give you one more then and now, Hill interviewed Kevin Garnett in the first taping of the show last season after KG headed from Boston to Brooklyn:
The Big Ticket was also profiled on NBA Inside Stuff when he was a rookie during the 1994-95 season:
Here’s one last mix of great NBA Inside Stuff moments over the years. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
What do you think of the new NBA Inside Stuff?
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