There have been some great dunk calls over the years, from Kevin Harlan’s “LeBron James, with no regard for human life!” to Adam Amin’s “Coby White just sucked the gravity out of the building!” to, of course, NBA Jam announcer Tim Kitzrow’s “BOOM-SHAKA-LAKA!” Another announcer who’s become known for enthusiastic dunk calls is Eric Collins, the play-by-play voice of the Charlotte Hornets on the now-Bally Sports South since 2015.
Some of Collins’ past highlights include “WHOOOOOA! OH A DOUBLE-CLUTCH DIPSY-DOO BOOM!” and “OH TERRYYYY! HOW DO YOU DOOOOO!” And he added to that list with one on a Kai Jones dunk Sunday against the Washington Wizards:
KAI JONES ?
AND ERIC COLLINS GOES WILD. pic.twitter.com/EUvfBqLpw9
— Bally Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnBally) November 21, 2022
The opening scream there is almost a Dean Scream, and it goes on from there to “ARE YOU KIDDING ME! HUM-DIDDLY-DEE!” And that drew a lot of attention on Twitter:
WE INTERRUPT FOOTBALL FOR THIS INCREDIBLE ERIC COLLINS CALL pic.twitter.com/sHKsxBsEBq
— BetMGM ? (@BetMGM) November 21, 2022
— Tom Ziller (@teamziller) November 21, 2022
ERIC COLLINS IS THE GOAT.??? https://t.co/ahOdaIG80d
— I miss Braves baseball ?? (@Matt0ls0n) November 21, 2022
Last year, Collins spoke to Jonathan Abrams of The New York Times on why he likes bringing his “quirky” and “a little bit scary” energetic style to broadcasts:
How are you able to sustain your energy throughout the lengthy season?
I just think it’s the way that I was born and the way I was raised, what’s in my body. To me, it’s easy to get excited and to be full of wonder at a basketball game, at a sporting event, at a baseball game, at a women’s volleyball game. I’m a competition junkie, and if people are putting in the amount of effort that it takes to get ready for a game and play the game, I always put enough energy and thought to get ready for that game. And once the ball is thrown up, I’m ready to go.
He also said there that he doesn’t listen to other broadcasters, because he wants to make sure he’s being original:
I was a sideline reporter for six years in the N.B.A. and I also used to dabble. I would be a sideline reporter and in-game reporter for the Chicago White Sox. And I started to do more and more play-by-play, and I was realizing that I was sounding like other announcers that were in my ear when I was doing games. And I said, “This is the absolute death of me.”
I don’t look like anyone else. I don’t have the same demographics as anyone else. I’m biracial, and that’s a huge part of who I am as a broadcaster. I look different than everyone else, and I think it’s important for me to not shy away from that. And I don’t want to look like anyone else and I don’t want to sound like anyone else.
So yeah, I haven’t listened to anyone since probably the late ’90s. I watch sports, and I don’t do pregame shows. I won’t watch a halftime show. I watch a highlight show. I form my own opinions. That’s what I believe in.
Collins’ calls certainly stand out, and his energy on this one was definitely palpable. And “Are you kidding me?/Hum-diddly-dee!” is a nice rhyme. We’ll see what dunk calls Collins continues to come up with, but he’s certainly got a good run of making some entertaining ones. (And he’s more entertaining than the Hornets overall, who lost this game 106-102 and fell to 4-14 on the season.)