Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Charles Barkley: LeBron never will be in my all-time top five

Charles Barkley, left, and Shaquille O'Neal wrap up

(Credit: AP)

When people discuss the musical chairs on the set of ESPN’s “NBA Countdown,’’ they often frame the matter in terms of the show's so-far futile quest to match the success of TNT’s “Inside the NBA.’’

But Charles Barkley, the star of “Inside the NBA,’’ does not see it that way.

“I don’t look at us as in competition with those guys,’’ the TNT analyst said Monday during a luncheon to preview...

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Sage (Steele) move by ESPN

Sage Steele at the anchor desk for

(Credit: ESPN/Joe Faraoni)

TNT tips off its NBA coverage Tuesday when the stars of its popular studio show appear live event at Flatiron Plaza in New York, which should be fun, especially when Charles Barkley says something negative about the Knicks.

ESPN, meanwhile, continues its search in the TV wilderness for a formula that can challenge its friends at Turner.

The network’s latest move was adding Sage Steele...

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Musical chairs on 'NBA Countdown'

MAGIC JOHNSON'S HOOK: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had the sky

(Credit: AP)

Someday I will retire, as will my successor. But rest assured: Newsday is committed to hiring qualified sports media writers to document the tinkering on “NBA Countdown’’ as long as it takes ESPN to match TNT’s NBA studio success.

The latest shuffle involves Michael Wilbon and Magic Johnson leaving and Doug Collins and Doris Burke (on a limited basis) arriving.

Johnson’s surprising announcement...

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