JJ Redick Jamal Crawford Credit: The Old Man and the Three Podcast

Former Los Angeles Clippers teammates JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford were the breakout broadcast newsmakers of the NBA playoffs. Both fellow shooting guards earned promotions heading into the postseason and made the best of them, but it wasn’t for a lack of nerves. Beyond the inexperience both Redick and Crawford faced, they also were a little starstruck by their announcing partners.

In a conversation on The Old Man and the Three podcast released Friday, Redick and Crawford dished on how surreal it is to call games alongside legends like Mike Breen and Kevin Harlan on play-by-play or work with analysts like Reggie Miller or Doris Burke, who were on the call throughout Redick and Crawford’s playing careers not long ago.

“We played in an era where all of these people called our games,” Redick said. “We see them at the arena, we rewatch our own games and we hear them talking about us and our teams, so they became so ingrained in our lives.”

Redick recalled a moment toward the end of his NBA playing career when Breen commented after a pregame interview that he looked forward to Redick joining ESPN some day. The compliment surprised Redick then, but stuck with him through to this spring, when he sat alongside Breen and Burke on ESPN’s top NBA broadcast booth for the playoffs.

Crawford, a journeyman in the league who stays involved in basketball at all levels with a Pro-Am and AAU program in Seattle as well as his game analyst duties at TNT, rewinded even further, back to watching an iconic Harlan call of a Kobe Bryant dunk.

“They’ve been the backdrop, they’ve been the soundtrack to our basketball lives, even before we were actually in the NBA,” Crawford said. “I remember hearing that and what I felt in that moment, and (now I’m) sitting next to him and hearing his voice while we’re watching the same game, him being so gracious.”

It sounds funny to think a pro athlete would be tickled to work with someone in media, but it’s clear Redick and Crawford are basketball nerds. Their passion and homework stands out as broadcasters. So the idea that those two in particular would be hyped about working with Breen or Harlan is not so surprising.

Redick may not be long for ESPN, as he is reportedly a frontrunner to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. Crawford was tremendous in his first run calling games through the second round of the playoffs, but his broadcasting future is uncertain along with all of the NBA on TNT crew amid doubt over the network’s chances to carry NBA games beyond next season.

[Old Man & the Three on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.