On a recent visit to his hometown of Atlanta, Wolves guard Josh Okogie got to do something he had never done: Spend the day getting a look behind the curtain at the magic of television.
Okogie spent a day with a handful of other NBA players seeing how NBA TV and TNT put together their programming as part of the league’s Career Crossover Job Shadow Program.
“It was great to see the ins and outs of broadcasting,” Okogie said. “And see how the day-to-day life goes of a broadcaster and how much work is put in before the show actually airs on TV.”
Okogie spent about 10 hours touring different sets, meeting all sort of people, including those who work in production and former NBA players who serve as hosts on shows such as “Inside the NBA.”
He even got some airtime during a segment on NBA TV when the subject came around to talking about how to defend James Harden. Okogie had one of the more memorable plays against him last season, stuffing a Harden three-point attempt during a home win over Houston.
Okogie offered some insight on how best to defend Harden and his patented step-back jumper.
“The biggest thing also is never have your feet set,” Okogie said on the air. “That’s what he waits for, your feet to be set, which gives him time to step back.”
It was a glimpse into Okogie’s mind when he is out on the floor. When his playing days are over, he’s hopeful he might be able to parlay that experience into a career in broadcasting.
“People always say, ‘You’re really good at talking and expressing how you feel,’ ” Okogie said. A lot of people say I have a good IQ about the game, so I just try to put two and two together and see what I could make out of it.”
Okogie spent some time observing “Inside the NBA,” one of the most popular sports shows on television and got to see what makes it so successful.
The chemistry between Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and host Ernie Johnson was evident, Okogie said.
“It was literally like taking the camera and putting it on somebody who didn’t know the camera was on them,” Okogie said. “Obviously it takes a lot of practice but they make it look easy.”
Okogie saw the kind of “practice” it takes to put on a TV show, the number of people doing different jobs it takes to make a show run smoothly.
“Biggest thing I learned is it’s just so much more than what we see on TV going on,” Okogie said.
“There’s so much preparation before and things people are doing while the show is going on to prevent any backlash or make sure everything is smooth.”
Even though he is entering just his second season in the league, Okogie has thought about what he might want to do when his career is over. Broadcasting is near the top of the list.
“I’m just open for anything that will come my way,” Okogie said. “I’m very excited for the future in this field and just thankful I got the opportunity.”