Over the last week, we polled the Awful Announcing readers on their opinions of each local broadcast team around the NBA. The polls were broken down by division to gain the perspective of both fans and rivals for each broadcast team.
The votes are in, and we weighted your grades on a four point scale for each broadcast crew and sorted them to determine who your favorite and least favorite broadcast teams were. Each “A” vote received 4 points, 3 points for a “B” vote, down to 0 points for an “F” vote. The total points scored were divided by the total number of votes to calculate what amounts to a GPA for each broadcast booth.
Click here to view the voting results for all 30 teams.
After everything was tabulated, the end results may end up surprising you, but we feel that they’re a pretty accurate ranking of the 30 broadcast crews in the league. Without any further ado, here we go.
Analysis of each crew written by Joe Mags of Crossover Chronicles. Data breakdown by Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing.
30. Houston Rockets – 1.35
-Bill Worrell (play by play)
-Matt Bullard (analyst)
-Clyde Drexler (analyst)
Most popular grade: F (43.44% of voters)
Analysis: This crew’s hideous marks are a reflection of their staunch homerism. According to Worrell, Drexler and Bullard, there’s never been a justifiable call made against the Rockets. Ironically, the crew is anti-3-point-shot, even as Daryl Morey has grown Houston into the avatar of the analytic movement, fostering a “Get off my lawn” attitude to the entire broadcast.
Reader comments: “I can tolerate homers because let’s face it: the local broadcast crew is there to satisfy the fans of the team’s they’re broadcasting, not visitors on league pass. With that being said, Clyde Drexler is the worst. He’s dumb and takes things beyond homerism by constantly whinging about the refs and not even acknowledging when replay shows they were right.” – alamoaggie08
29. Oklahoma City Thunder – 1.56
-Brian Davis (play by play)
-Michael Cage (analyst)
Most popular grade: F (31.91% of voters)
Analysis: Nearly one-third of the voters flunked the Thunder because of the exhausting top-down organizational stance that, “It’s us against the world.” Watching Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant go to work shouldn’t be a chore, but every Thunder broadcast is filled with uncomfortable, defensive remarks against anybody not wearing Thunder colors.
@awfulannouncing Michael Cage makes up words on a nightly basis. He used “depthness” the other night. He’s the worst.
— Austin Keeney (@austinkeeney) January 19, 2016
28. Los Angeles Clippers – 1.81
-Ralph Lawler (play by play) -Mike Smith (analyst)
Most popular grade: F (26.90% of voters)
Analysis: This is my first disagreement with the fans. Lawler is charming, and his signature “Bingooooo” call is authentic, one of many celebrated Lawler-isms. He and Smith “haggle” during the first quarter over a prediction for the game, usually an obscure statistical accomplishment. Are they homers? Yes. But not nearly as flagrant as the previous two entries on this list.
Reader comments: “I’m bit biased here, but I gotta go with the Clips as my #1 team…Lawler is slipping a bit in recent years, but he’s still one of the best in NBA. Smith’s okay at best, but I always found his analysis on games to be among the better half of those in his position” – enigmaticchill
27. Denver Nuggets – 1.86
-Chris Marlowe (play by play)
-Scott Hastings (analyst)
Most popular grade: C (31.13% of voters)
Analysis: That nearly one-third of the populous voted Cs for the Nuggets goes to show how “blah” their in-game experience has become. Hastings chasing down referees with pointed words is a distraction from an otherwise exhilarating young team on the rise.
@awfulannouncing need to separate nuggets. Hastings decent. Marlowe almost unwatchable.
— Rob Scanlan (@RobScanlan) January 19, 2016
26. Cleveland Cavaliers – 2.02
-Fred McLeod (play by play)
-Austin Carr (analyst)
Most popular grade: F (25.78% of voters)
Analysis: More than a quarter of the voters flunked the Cavaliers’ crew, tucking them just inside the bottom 5. Carr is a well-known loudmouth, but he loves his team, and welcomes back ex-Cavs with open arms when their new team comes to Quicken Loans Arena. Carr’s cackles earned the crew demerits, but they were also welcomed by more than 23 percent who gave the crew As.
@awfulannouncing Carr, and McLeod are so bad, i’d rather listen to Mark May and Jesse Palmer.
— Joseph (@BuckeyevsTworld) January 21, 2016
@awfulannouncing Carr is fun, but McLeod won't ever say anything bad about the Cavs, ever.
— J Strike (@theballdontlie) January 21, 2016