What Does It Take to Be an NBA Analyst?

An NBA analyst is a sports announcer who specializes in basketball commentary, usually on a cable sports network such as NESN or ESPN. Because there are relatively few positions and they tend to be high-profile, you will need to meet certain qualifications in order to compete for a job as an NBA analyst.

Education

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, most individuals employed as sports announcers pursued an undergraduate college degree in broadcasting and journalism. The BLS highlights the importance of strong reading and writing skills for success in the field of television broadcasting, and further suggests that students interested in television broadcasting "take courses in radio and television news and production."

Work Experience

While attending college, it will be advantageous to gain early practical experience through internships and part-time jobs at television stations or other employers related to the field. Once they graduate college, most individuals who end up working as high-profile sports analysts begin their careers at local television stations, often in general positions. According to the BLS, most large television stations require potential employees to have several years worth of experience.

Poise and Appearance

An important qualification for most jobs in television, especially highly competitive jobs such as an NBA analyst, is that you have a pleasing voice and appearance. In addition, you must be completely comfortable on camera, must be at ease with many types of people, and must be able to think on your feet without losing your poise or composure. Practice and work experience are two great ways to get more comfortable on camera. Public speaking classes in high school and college may also help.

Knowledge

To be a competitive candidate for an NBA analyst position, you will need to be extremely knowledgeable about the sport of basketball. This is not a subject taught in school; rather, you will need to commit time outside of school and work to make sure you know about NBA records, team histories, how to pronounce the names of players and other basic basketball knowledge. If you are an avid fan of basketball, some of this will be second nature. A great place to test and hone your knowledge is the NBA website.

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