A Case Study in NBA Broadcasting- Part 2

(OR THE ESPN EDITION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

DO YOU HEAR THAT!?!!?!?! HUH?!?!?! DO YOU HEAR THAT?!?!?!?!?!

That’s Stephen A. Smith yelling at yo ass! And he will also do so to all 29 (sorry mis-counted yesterday) other personalities involved in their NBA programming this year. You doubt me that the number is 29??? Okay then, I’ll give you the list up front.

In no particular order: Mark Jackson, Hubie Brown, Mike Breen, Mike Tirico, Lisa Salters, Stu Scott, Dan Patrick, Michael Wilbon, Bill Walton, Jon Barry, John Saunders, Greg Anthony, Tim Legler, Mark Jones, Tom Tolbert, Dave Pasch, Jim Gray, Doris Burke, Becky Hammon, Kara Lawson, Fred Hickman, Allan Houston, Kiki Vandeweghe, Jamal Mashburn, Dee Brown, Ric Bucher, Chris Broussard, Marc Stein, and Jackie MacMullen.

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I’m refraining from flipping out now….counting backward…..10, 9….calm….8, 7, 6……oh screw it.

THAT IS JUST INSANE!!!!

Now that that’s out of the way….let’s delve into the monster……

What you know: You know that ABC/ESPN’s programming has gotten more and more ridiculous every year. ABC’s number one team of Mike Breen and Skeletor Hubie Brown is still in tact and they will be on Sundays. Tirico was bumped to second team duty and will still be paired with Bill Walton, but undoubtedly they will interchange throughout the year.

The rest is completely up in the air. There are so many combinations of people it’s ridiculous, but tentatively this is what weekday ESPN games will look like:

1. Mike Tirico with Bill Walton and Jon Barry
2. Jon Saunders with Greg Anthony and Tim Legler
3. Mark Jones and Tom Tolbert

Guess which team I like the best……Yep, of course…..#3.

What you don’t or may not know: Well there’s a lot actually. Like I said before the sheer number of individual Announcers is astounding and any of them could fill in for one another at any time.

But even more confusing than that are the PreGame shows. From what I gather there are 2 pregame shows and 2 highlight shows.

First is KIA NBA Shootaround which is ESPN’s pregame. The analysts are Greg Anthony, Tim Legler and S.A.S. Fred Hickman will replace John Saunders as host this year. There was a rumor that Dan Patrick Mikey Wilbon and Mark Jackson would replace them, but that isn’t the case.

New to the mix of Shootaround are the “Rookies”…..described as, “ESPN’s rookie class of NBA analysts who have a combined 50 years of NBA game experience, plus Vandeweghe’’s five years in the Denver Nuggets’ front office.” That’s right….in another genius move the Leader has hired MORE ex-players to yell at each other. The Rookie class is! (drum roll)…..Allan Houston, Kiki Vandeweghe, Jon Barry and Jamal Mashburn! (That was anti-climatic wasn’t it?)

Our other pregame show is NBA Sunday Countdown. (From Wikipedia) With ABC Sports’ demise and rebranding as ESPN on ABC, ABC’s NBA pregame show was given its fifth different name in as many years (NBA Shootaround, NBA Hangtime, NBA Game Time, and NBA Nation). Your hosts are Dan Patrick, Mark Jackson, and Michael Wilbon. Not a bad team…they should definitely be on ESPN as well.

Add to that NBA Fastbreak, NBA Coast-to-Coast, and The Toyota halftime show and you have one GIANT cluster F!

Your ESPN Haiku:
I can’t even come up with one…..I’ve never been more confused. If you have one put it in the comments.

Why ESPN has it wrong: If you watched TNT’s broadcast last night that will give you your first clue. Even in a blowout game Marv Albert and Steve Kerr did a great job staying with the game (I had so many damn trick-or-treaters though I could barely keep up myself).

ESPN’s overall problem stems from one main problem. EGOS. Every person on that network has to be exactly right about their point and everyone else has to be wrong. Which leads to a half hour bitch session that most people don’t watch. I’d much rather watch the local cable feed of the Wizards games, but this site forces me to watch the trainwreck.

Another complaint about ABC and ESPN televised games are that the camera angles appear too far away, and colors seem faded and dull compared to TNT’s. Also, unlike NBC, which allowed crowd noise to sometimes drown out their announcers, ABC quiets crowd noise on their telecasts. This definitely takes the energy out of telecasts.

TNT’s pregame and halftime shows take on a much more light-hearted approach. Even though they disagree it doesn’t come off as one belittling the other. If Stephen A. Smith has 45 seconds he’s going to tell (yell at) you why whoever next to him is wrong, and not even explain why he’s right. Seriously, why are these people so angry? I wish I had the answer……but it makes me angry too. The NBA on ESPN starts tonight, so loosen up those vocal chords so you can yell back.

ESPN’s Official Press Release (See if you can disseminate that crap!)

Update: I forgot to link the above paragraph to Wikipedia. (NBA on ABC)

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