NBA analysts are basketball experts who offer opinions and analysis of the National Basketball Association across a wide variety of media. The most prominent analysts are generally found in televised coverage of the league, on both national and regional broadcasts covering each of the league's 30 franchises. The role requires an extensive knowledge of the game, its rules and history. Many are former players.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, spectator sports analysts such as those who cover professional sports like the NBA earned a mean wage of $79,050 in 2010. According to the BLS data, spectator sports make up a 20th of a percent of all radio and television announcing positions in the US, a figure that reflects the exclusivity of such roles. While ome NBA analysts are communications professionals with a background in sports analysis, a vast majority come from the ranks of NBA alumni, including former players and coaches.
Players & Coaches Turned Analysts
It's common practice for major radio television networks to hire former NBA players and coaches to serve as analysts on their broadcasts. Former NBA professionals offer an in-depth insight into the league and the game that conventional sports broadcasting professionals are perceived to be less likely to provide. Former players turned broadcasters included Isiah Thomas, Bill Walton, Mark Jackson, Charles Barkley and Jayson Williams. NBA coaches like Jeff Van Gundy have also left their places on the bench to join a network in an analyst role, as he did in 2007. Former players can earn as much as $750,000 per year.
Analysts Outside of Television
There are numerous lower-profile NBA analysts who offer coverage of the league via print media, Internet journalism and fan blogs. These positions can range from unpaid hobbyists to head columnists for major sports media outlets such as Yahoo!, ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Earnings within this realm of NBA analysis vary tremendously by both experience and exposure, and can range from $20,180 to upwards of $77,480.
Relevant Education and Experience
Individuals who are interested in becoming an NBA analyst can pursue the job by acquiring collegiate-level experience in both sports broadcasting and media communications. Internships that offer the opportunity to cover sports at a scholastic or collegiate level can also go a long way in bolstering the resume of potential candidates.