Announcers

NBA, FULL ROSTER- Local radio and TV voices; Lead network talent nationally; Al McCoy his 51st year

A look ahead at the 2022-23 NBA season

First, developments during the off-season:

  • Popular Minnesota Timberwolves TV announcer Dave Benz was fired by the team after ten seasons amid an ownership change in Minnesota. The Timberwolves brought in Michael Grady, the Brooklyn Nets’ sideline reporter, to succeed him.
  • Justin Kutcher left after three seasons as the TV play-by-play announcer for the Washington Wizards in what was most likely a mutual decision between team and announcer. The Wizards stayed internal in choosing his replacement, elevating sideline reporter Chris Miller.
  • WNBA star and future Hall of Famer Candace Parker will work some games as a color commentator this season for TNT, having spent the last two seasons as a studio analyst on the network’s Tuesday games.
  • After two seasons of doing a TV/radio simulcast, the Orlando Magic will return to splitting their broadcasts again, with Jake Chapman moving from the pre and post game host to the radio play-by-play chair.
  • The Toronto Raptors made a change in the analyst chair for the TSN half of their radio schedule, with Sherman Hamilton being replaced by Jevohn Shepherd. A Michigan alum who played for the Canadian national team, Shepherd had previously served as the analyst for the Raptors’ G-League affiliate, Raptors 905. Hamilton will continue to do studio work on TV for Sportsnet.
  • Miami Heat radio analyst Ruth Riley Hunter left broadcasting to move to a role in basketball operations for the team. All indications are that radio play-by-play man Jason Jackson will work alone this season.
  • We wish the NBA-TV Voice Mike Breen, a complete recovery from the fire he suffered at his Long Island home. In 2015 Yanks’ radio announcer John Sterling was hit similarly in his New Jersey apartment.

Additional opinions below are the views of the publisher, David J. Halberstam

Atlanta

TV: Bob Rathbun, Dominique Wilkins or Vince Carter

Radio: Steve Holman, Mike Conti

Holman has been around forever and his name intermingled with the club. Rathbun has been reliable forever too.

Boston

TV: Mike Gorman, Brian Scalabrine

Radio: Sean Grande, Cedric Maxwell

Gorman brings decades of accolades. He also did Big East hoops on ESPN when the league stole the show.

Brooklyn

TV: Ian Eagle or Ryan Ruocco, Sarah Kustok or Richard Jefferson

Radio: Chris Carrino, Tim Capstraw

Eagle likes lots of work and Rucco fills in for him.

Charlotte

TV: Eric Collins, Dell Curry

Radio: Sam Farber, Matt Carroll

Collins hollers ways too much.

Chicago

TV: Adam Amin or Jason Benetti, Stacey King

Radio: Chuck Swirsky, Bill Wennington

The radio pair are good and vibrant voices.

Cleveland

TV: John Michael, Austin Carr or Brad Daugherty

Radio: Tim Alcorn, Jim Chones

Alcorn’s voice is sepulchral. Alcorn did general radio before the death of the greatest radio NBAer, his mentor, Joe Tait.

Dallas

TV: Mark Followill, Derek Harper or Jeff “Skin” Wade

Radio: Chuck Cooperstein, Brad Davis

Cooperstein has a strong NY accent and an invariably palpable voice of great energy.

Denver

TV: Chris Marlowe, Scott Hastings

Radio: Jason Kosmicki

Jason Kosmicki began as the engineer on the radio broadcasts, an unusual road to take to get on-air. He’s not bad.

Detroit

TV: George Blaha or Johnny Kane, Greg Kelser

Radio: Mark Champion or George Blaha, Rick Mahorn

Blaha is 77. He also continues to do Michigan State Football. Too much, I think. Good guy. Time for Champion to do all radio.

Golden State

TV: Bob Fitzgerald, Kelenna Azubuike

Radio: Tim Roye, Tom Tolbert or Jim Barnett

Roye is a warm fellow, over 25 years with club, added Stanford football this season. Fitzgerald didn’t get accolades for his work on NBC’s Olympics.

Houston

TV: Craig Ackerman, Ryan Hollins

Radio: Matt Thomas, Joel Blank

No one will ever come close to Gene Peterson! Sorry. “How sweet it is!”

Indiana

TV: Chris Denari, Quinn Buckner

Radio: Mark Boyle, Eddie Gill

Boyle is an Indy institution, His style is understated. He fashions his broadcasts simply. Nice.

LA Clippers

TV: Brian Sieman, Jim Jackson or Mike Fratello

Radio: Noah Eagle or Kevin Danna

We miss the man blessed with the Clippers’ mic for decades, Ralph Lawler. Can’t say more.

LA Lakers

TV: Bill Macdonald, Stu Lantz

Radio: John Ireland, Mychal Thompson

John is pretty good. He never leaves listeners on a lurch. Stu Lantz on TV was connected at the hip with Chick Hearn. He remains vigorous at 76.

Memphis

TV: Pete Pranica, Brevin Knight

Radio: Eric Hasseltine, Elliot Perry or Michael Wallace

I’ve heard both these TV and radio fellows. They do efficient work. No strong opinion.

Miami

TV: Eric Reid, John Crotty

Radio: Jason Jackson

Eric is  firmly committed to the club, from the day that the franchise was born in 1988. No voice in Miami, any sport, has more tenure than Eric.

Milwaukee

TV: Lisa Byington, Marques Johnson or Stephen Bardo

Radio: Dave Koehn, Ben Brust

When women play-by-by-players became fashionable, the NBA’s broadcast teams scurried for candidates. Byington and Scott in Philly, two women, joined the lady ranks. But Byington can’t shine Kate’s shoes.

Minnesota

TV: Michael Grady, Jim Petersen

Radio: Alan Horton

Grady replaced David Benz this season. Kevin Harlan was the club’s first announcer and most popular.

New Orleans

TV: Joel Meyers, Antonio Daniels

Radio: Todd Graffagnini, John DeShazier

The New Orleans marketplace is very loyal. At 68, Meyers is being embraced.

New York

TV: Mike Breen or Kenny Albert, Walt “Clyde” Frazier or Wally Szczerbiak

Radio: Ed Cohen, Brendan Brown

Breen is considered the second coming of Marv, and like Marv, he studied the game.

Oklahoma City

TV: Chris Fisher, Michael Cage

Radio: Matt Pinto

Pinto shares way too many numbers, stats that are impossible to digest.

Orlando

TV: David Steele, Jeff Turner

Radio: Jake Chapman

Steele was the Voice of University of Florida, both football and basketball. He’s been there since day one. A gentleman too.

Philadelphia

TV: Kate Scott, Alaa Abdelnaby

Radio: Tom McGinnis

McGinnis is solid. Tom puts his heart into the game. Works alone. Marc Zumoff, upbeat and always well prepared retired before last season. Tough loss.

al mccoy square profile
Al McCoy, Suns

Phoenix

TV: Kevin Ray or Tom Leander, Eddie Johnson or Ann Meyers Drysdale

Radio: Al McCoy or Jon Bloom, Tim Kempton

Al McCoy still sounds sharp. Imagine, he turns 90 in April! He’s down to only home games now. On the air with the Suns since 1972, he did a simulcast for most of his fifty seasons to date. We should all be as blessed.

Portland

TV: Kevin Calabro, Lamar Hurd

Radio: Travis Demers, Michael Holton

Kevin presided over the Seattle Supersonics on their simulcasts. He didn’t move to Oklahoma City. Stylish with a big husky and voice that fills the room. This is his second stint with the Blazers.

San Antonio

TV: Bill Land or Dan Weiss, Sean Elliott

Radio: Bill Schoening

Schoening has been around long enough enough and he’s developed an efficient relationship with the community. He tells it like it is.

Sacramento

TV: Mark Jones or Kyle Draper, Kayte Christensen-Hunter

Radio: Gary Gerould

Gary’s name is best known in car-racing broadcast circles and in Sacramento where he’s called Kings’ games since they moved there in 1985.

Toronto

TV: Matt Devlin, Jack Armstrong or Alvin Williams

Radio: Paul Jones, Jevohn Shepherd or Eric Smith, Paul Jones

Paul Jones, Mark’s brother has an exquisite vocabulary and uses handy phrases. Brother Mark has a command of the language too. Something like, “The coach is exhorting his ballclub, leaning over the sideline, like he was trying to hail a cab.”

Utah

TV: Craig Bolerjack, Thurl Bailey or Holly Rowe

Radio: David Locke, Ron Boone

There’s only one Voice in Jazz history. From New Orleans to Salt Lake City, Hot Rod Hundley. Very stylized. His sidekick is still there, soft-spoken, Ron Boone. As a guard, he played 1,041 straight ABA and NBA games, a record. He’s been there since 1988.

Washington

TV: Chris Miller, Drew Gooden

Radio: Dave Johnson, Glenn Consor

Johnson has had to miss games because due to health issues. He’s been at it a long time.

Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen 

ESPN

Lead team: Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson

Other announcers: Mark Jones, Dave Pasch, Ryan Ruocco, Beth Mowins, Brian Custer, Marc Kestecher (PxP), Doris Burke, Hubie Brown, Richard Jefferson, JJ Redick, Vince Carter (Color)

TNT

Lead team: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Stan Van Gundy

Other announcers: Ian Eagle, Brian Anderson, Spero Dedes, Matt Winer (PxP), Jim Jackson, Grant Hill, Candace Parker, Greg Anthony, Brendan Haywood (Color)

 

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Jake Baskin

Jake Baskin is a graduate of Dean College who majored in sports broadcasting. He does play-by-play for Northeast Sports Network and previously wrote about hockey for various SB Nation blogs. He loves the history and evolution of sports broadcasting and dreams of being a national-level announcer.

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Michael Green
1 month ago

Nice job by Mr. Baskin and nice comments by Mr. Halberstam. I tried to joke on a forum when Vin retired at 88 that Felo Ramirez was still doing the Marlins at 93 and a whippersnapper like Vin shouldn’t take the easy way out. I’ll just say that I wish I could be as sharp as Al McCoy is NOW, and I’m 35 years younger! As for the Eric Collins reference, some may forget that he did Dodgers TV with Steve Lyons for a couple of years after the Dodgers had stuck it to Ross Porter and had to hire… Read more »