With HBO’s new season of “Hard Knocks” premiering August 11 — and focusing on the New York Jets — the show has been a big topic of conversation in the Dime office and NYC in general.
While Major League Baseball has begun capitalizing on the (well-produced) reality TV genre with “The Club,” which follows the front-office/managerial arm of the Chicago White Sox, the NBA has yet to really get on board. We’ve pitched serious and half-serious ideas for NBA reality shows before, but which teams would really draw interest were they caught on tape in the same 24/7 style of “Hard Knocks”?
For me, great television comes from a combination of talent, drama, and amusement. So following those qualifications, here’s the Top 5 basketball reality-show candidates:
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
From David Kahn to Michael Beasley, this is just prime for hilariousness. Plus throw in absent-minded Darko and you have one entertaining group. The wild cards are Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair; if they actually stay on the roster (unlikely), the Wolves need to be on TV. Plus, I mean, what is there to do in Minnesota? Imagine D-West at the Mall of America.
4. Kentucky Wildcats
Why not? It’s a “Hollywood” college program, with a great lead in John Calipari. Who wouldn’t want to follow around a bunch of freshmen as they get ready for the season and get treated like rock stars in Lexington?
3. New Jersey Nets
You have a team coming off one of the worst seasons in NBA history, in close proximity to New York City, with some characters on the squad like Brook Lopez and Terrence Williams. And then there’s Avery Johnson, who just sounds funny. I don’t know about you, but I would love to hear a conversation between Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Ron Artest alone needs his own reality show, but add Matt Barnes to the scene and reality TV veteran Lamar Odom and you have interesting TV. Not to mention they’re in Hollywood, Phil Jackson is always good for a sound bite, and Kobe just has superstar aura.
1. Miami Heat
Star power alone makes this an easy choice. We saw their concert-like, made-for-TV signing announcement; everything LeBron, Wade and Bosh will do is going to be done on a grand scale. Plus you add Pat Riley, the randomly entertaining Mike Miller and his pet monkey, and Eddie House, whose son already has a reality show, and you have a must-watch team.
Honorable Mention — Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Any team Shaq goes to