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Jim Williams: NBA gets the All-Star treatment this weekend

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Sports,NBA,Jim Williams

The NBA will spend All-Star weekend in Houston, and every aspect of the three-day affair will get max coverage on TV, radio and Internet. NBA TV, TNT and ESPN will have parts of the weekend covered on TV, while radio coverage will be from ESPN and web coverage can be found on NBA.com and via TNT Overtime.

From Friday's Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announcement, set for noon on NBA TV, to Sunday's All-Star Game on TNT at 7 p.m., fans will have access to everything going on in Houston. Albert "Scooter" Vertino, vice president and executive producer of content for Turner Sports, has multiple broadcast teams all over Houston ready to capture all the weekend's basketball excitement.

What is the game plan for this All-Star weekend?

Vertino » Every year the NBA seems to add more interesting things to the All-Star weekend, which is great for both Turner Sports as well as the fans. Our goal is to make sure that we provide wall-to-wall coverage on as many different platforms as possible. We want fans to enjoy the weekend no matter whether they are watching on TV or their tablets or smartphones. The key to us is accessibility.

How about some weekend highlights?

Vertino » Friday has lots of great things for fans with the Hall of Fame announcement and the press day for all of the players. We have a great new tool online that will allow fans to watch as many as four different stars during the afternoon press day event. Then of course there are the big back-to-back night games: the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and the Rising Stars Challenge. Saturday there is coverage of Eastern and Western Conference All-Star practices, NBA Commissioner Stern's address and of course our showcase event, All-Star Saturday Night. Sunday is the Legends Brunch and the main event All-Star Game. That is just a little bit of the programming we have planned on NBA TV and TNT.

Tell me about the "second screen."

Vertino » We at Turner Sports have always pushed viewers to watch the telecast but at the same time on their laptops or tablets watch TNT Overtime via broadband. You get to pick four different camera angles as well as lots of extra stats and information, plus a social media component so fans can get involved. It makes watching the game even more fun."

Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc.

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