Gary Neal (temporarily) saved San Antonio’s season with this amazing buzzer beater at the end of regulation in Game 5 with San Antonio trailing 97-94. The Spurs would later win in OT to force a Game 6 back in Memphis. Neal caught the inbounds pass at the top of the key with 1.7 seconds left, took a dribble, fired, and showed a little ONIONS by making the three. Unfortunately for fans watching around the country, the same could not be said for the Memphis/NBATV announcing team…
It’s embarrassing for NBATV to broadcast that around the country. We chronicled this weekend how badly NBATV was dropping the ball by broadcasting playoff games with local announcers. Instead of subjecting us to the homerish San Antonio pair of Bill Land and Sean Elliott… we got the homerish Memphis pair of Pete Pranica and Brevin Knight for Game 5. All I know is I never want to hear the phrase “Z-Bound” again. But again, I don’t blame them for making the homer call that they did. As Memphis announcers they are obviously disappointed, and that’s their prerogative as Memphis announcers. Why NBA fans are subjected to it around the country though is another story.
Look at what ESPN quietly did for Game 4 of Celtics/Knicks. With Jim Durham out, ESPN Radio grabbed Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman to fill in and partner Dr. Jack Ramsay. Gorman was able to deliver a neutral, professional broadcast and left his Celtics colors at home because he was working for ESPN and not Comcast New England. Just for full disclosure, we interviewed Mike at AA last month, but his work last weekend shows that local guys are capable of doing a professional job on the national stage. I doubt ESPN would want him doing the same broadcast for ESPN Radio that he would do for CSNNE. Unfortunately for the wide majority of NBA fans, NBATV doesn’t get that.
Thankfully, we now have a defining moment for the ridiculousness of using local feeds for nationally televised playoff games. The most exciting play of the NBA Playoffs thus far, and we are treated to… silence. No reaction. No words. Not even a grunt or scream of disbelief. Nothing! After a full seven seconds of silence, we did get this pathetic, someone just took a chainsaw to my stuffed teddy bear, “play-by-play” afterwards…
“And it appears we are headed to overtime. The ruling will have to be reviewed but it appears that Gary Neal has sent this game to overtime.”
Could you imagine Kevin Harlan, Marv Albert, or Mike Breen on that call? Shoot, I would take Dick Stockton’s incoherent ramblings over that! I would take Joe Buck! I would even take Mickey Rooney! Maybe that’s fitting for the fans in Memphis or Western Tennessee, but the rest of us around the country have the same reaction to this announcing as the Grizzlies announcers did for Neal’s buzzer beater.
As always, thanks for the video goes to @bubbaprog.