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For Greg Anthony at the Final Four, Another Unforeseen Milestone

NBA analyst Greg Anthony Greg Anthony played for 12 years in the N.B.A., which is 12 more years than he’d ever imagined as a young man. So when it was announced on Feb. 25 that he was going to be on the lead broadcast team for the 2014 Final Four, it marked yet another opportunity for Mr. Anthony that he simply couldn’t have predicted. “I never thought I’d even be in broadcasting,” Mr. Anthony, 46, said recently at a media day for CBS and Turner Sports coverage of the N.C.A.A. Tournament, which culminates in North Texas on April 5. “When I retired from playing I was probably going to get my M.B.A. I had a few businesses that I was involved with and so I really saw myself going down that path. I kind of just fell into broadcasting literally on a whim. It was never really in my thought process toward the end of my career and even after I was retired.” Mr. Anthony said that he was approached about the opportunity before the season began, toward the latter end of the summer. He thought about the pros and cons — “the Final Four is a different dynamic than being in the studio,” he said — but ultimately came to the conclusion that the opportunity was too good to pass up. Mr. Anthony will serve as an in-game analyst throughout the tournament, teaming up with with Jim Nantz and analyst Steve Kerr with reporter Tracy Wolfson working the sidelines through the Regional Finals. This lead team will also cover the national semifinals and the national championship games live from AT&T Stadium. RELATED: Nike Releases Photos of Old ‘New’ College Basketball Uniforms “I love the game of basketball and never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be in the capacity I’m in in terms of broadcasting. I love the game of college basketball. To call the Final Four is the pinnacle of college basketball from a broadcasting perspective and I really have to thank Sean McManus and David Berson for having the belief and feeling that this was the right move to make for our team.” The move means that the two-man team of Mr. Nantz and Clark Kellogg may have called its last Final Four. Mr. Anthony said that Mr. Kellogg is a close friend, and that what he’s given him is more than advice going into his first Final Four. “What he’s given me is perspective. He’s a consummate pro, and the ultimate teammate. I’ve called games before and done some of those things. I understand the magnitude of the moment and what it means to so many.” But Mr. Anthony said that viewers shouldn’t expect him to go into the weekend seeking to do his best Clark Kellogg impression. “His experiences are invaluable, but ultimately when you do anything in life, you’ve got to do it the way you believe is the right way. I get a lot of great advice, but it’s just like playing the game: you put players in the position where they feel comfortable. I’ve got to be me. I’m the only me that I know.” “I’m going to try to give a sense of what’s going on, why it’s going on and how it’s going on and mix in my opinions. I feel like I’m reasonably opinionated but I’m also fair because there’s always two sides to everything.” RELATED: University of Texas puts stronghold on Coach’s name Mr. Anthony’s ascendance to one of the top jobs in American sports broadcasting is the latest example of hybrid talent growing through the ranks at Turner Sports. His own experience as a studio analyst on NBA TV and CBS Sports, as well as a gig covering the Brooklyn Nets during the 2012-2013 season, made him one of most visible analysts in the game. David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting, said that Turner’s relationship with NBA TV has allowed Turner Sports to showcase the talents of Grant Hill, Chris Webber, Kenny Smith, Steve Smith and Mr. Anthony. “They all used it as a chance to hone their skills and get better,” Mr. Berson said. “I wouldn’t call it a training ground because it’s really not. We have superstars who are on it, and we have new people. But it’s an opportunity for us to expose the talent we have and get new ideas out there.” Mr. Anthony appears on several NBA TV studio shows, an asset that allowed Mr. Hill, a newcomer to broadcasting, to participate in his first N.C.A.A. Tournament as an analyst. “There would have been no way I would have been able to bring someone like Grant Hill into the Turner organization without having NBA TV and NBA.com as part of our portfolio so that he could have that chance to use his talent,” Mr. Levy said. As for Mr. Anthony, his latest assignment begins Friday in St. Louis when No. 7 New Mexico takes on No. 10 Stanford. “I look back 13 years ago when I started, it makes me think about being a young kid and how I never thought I’d play pro basketball for 12 years,” he said, reflecting how fortunate he’s been over the course of his career. “I dreamed about stuff like that, but I had another plan for my life in terms of what I wanted to accomplish that was more realistic. “In life you never know what hand you’re going to be dealt, said Mr. Anthony, a Las Vegas native. “But it’s important to be prepared when the opportunities present themselves.”

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For Greg Anthony at the Final Four, Another Unforeseen Milestone

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