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Brian Anderson’s Ascent Was Built on Trust & Storytelling

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
This will be Brian Anderson’s first NBA All-Star Game broadcast. He told Boardroom what the honor means to him.

Brian Anderson will call play-by-play for the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 20, Turner Sports announced on Tuesday. It’ll be the 51-year-old’s first time calling TNT’s signature regular season event, and he will do so alongside color analysts Draymond Green and Candace Parker, the first woman to ever serve in that role for an NBA All-Star Game.

It’s part of Anderson’s continued ascent at the network since he began calling playoff baseball on TBS in 2008. He has since called more MLB postseason series, including the League Championship Series, as well as the golf special series The Match, and year-round coverage of the NBA. He also serves as a play-by-play voice for the Milwaukee Brewers on Bally Sports Wisconsin.

“It’s an honor and I’m thrilled that they called on me, and happy to be a part of that coverage,” Anderson told Boardroom.

With in-game interviews and a more laid-back feel, Anderson likened it more to The Match than a regular game.

“It’s a good chance to see these guys’ personalities,” he said. “I can’t wait to be a part of it. I go where they tell me to go, and I’m really happy to be called on to do this game.”

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Anderson had a front-row seat at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 14, 2021 when Stephen Curry broke the all-time made 3-pointer record for the Warriors against the Knicks. As fate (or karma) would have it, Anderson will call Tuesday’s game on TNT between the Lakers and Thunder, with LeBron James 36 points from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA’s all-time scoring record — the sport’s most hallowed individual feat.

It’s the potential for yet another iconic moment that makes Anderson’s job so fun.

“All those years when I was calling minor league baseball, I had a lot of great moments too, but nobody cared about them,” he joked. “For us as announcers, we know that our voice is going to be on these calls, these moments. There’s a lot of pressure there that you don’t want to screw these things up. You want to make sure that you don’t ruin the moment, but at the same time, it’s easier because it really is about the player in the moment.”

Anderson takes a minimalist approach to these types of moments, keeping the calls simple, from his perspective. It’s more about calling what happens, without any scripted plan for a gimmicky phrase. He prefers to get out of the way, letting his broadcast crew ensure that the sound and images can tell the story.

“This is unique in that it’s one of the all-time greatest records, and it’s possible that it’ll never be broken,” Anderson said. “We all understand the power of the moment and where it stands in the history of sports. It blows me away to be able to be behind the mic for a moment like this.”

With the All-Star Game and possibly LeBron’s record-breaking game adding to Anderson’s growing role as the network’s biggest voice, he said it means a lot that the company puts this kind of trust in him.

“What it boils down to from the very early days was developing trust, and you really can’t advance in your career until you have the trust of your bosses,” Anderson said. “To be trusted with moments like this, games like this, events like this, it’s very satisfying. I don’t take it for granted. It’s humbling to me. One of these days I’ll sit back and think more about it, but I don’t dwell on it because I still have a job to do and we’ve got a game to call.”

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