TNT's Announcing Teams Have Been Very Underwhelming in These Playoffs- Part 1

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I've been saving this post for a little while now, but things finally came to a head last night. With the playoffs being as great as they have been so far....TNT's announcing teams just haven't matched that same excellence. That's what announcers are for folks....they're supposed to call the action with the same intensity and fervor that the game is played at. Something just isn't there for TNT this year, and unless Marv Albert and Steve Kerr are on the call....it has been dreadful.

Whew....it feels good to get that off my chest. It's a harsh statement I know, but it's true. The only smart thing that TNT has done this whole Postseason was to switch Marv and Steve over to the Dallas/Warriors Series. The rest of the pairings have been terrible. (Side Note: We as fans should be able to vote on the teams we want to see. For example, throw Dick and Reggie on the Nets/Cavs game....no one will care.)

It almost pains me to say this because I've been in love with TNT Basketball for quite some time. It's true that TNT will end up lucking out in the long run because they have the East Coast Finals this year (when the East will finally get interesting), but the first round announcing was just plain Awful. Actually, I take that back....Kevin Harlan has been okay, but he never gets a chance to talk (more on that in a second). In fact he made me laugh out loud (the night before last) with this exchange....

"And with that basket we've got two minutes to go"- Harlan
"Twooooo Minutes Leffft to go"- Arena Announcer
"Shut up....I just said that."- Harlan

Read the rest after the jump.....

I get a kick out of those sorts of things, but of course Doug Collins has to ruin the moment by talking about the art of offensive rebounding for the rest of that two minute span. Douglas, you were a good player in your day (actually probably a little better than good), but the game isn't about you anymore. Honest to god I looked around my house for a stopwatch so I could keep track of Doug Collins' "Time of Possession" during the call of the action (don't worry...I bought a stopwatch, and this will be it's own post). People have just got to be pissed when the see they're teamed with him.

The thing about Doug is that he acts like he wants to be a PbP guy, but only has the chops to be an analyst. That team is a solid C- for this playoffs, and you can completely blame that on Collins.

As far as the D-League of Announcing Teams...Dick Stockton and Reggie Miller....what can I say? I don't think there's been a worse team ever assembled. It's not Dick's fault he's old, but when he says things like....

"And a 61 Point 1st Quarter for the Jazz!!!!!!!"

....you just have to shake your head. I know Stockton is a legend, and was excellent in the past, but at some point you just have to try out some new blood.

As far as Reggie goes, in the scale of analysts I don't think I could think of anyone that's worse, and you know what? Someone else very rad agrees with me....find out who it was and enjoy our dialogue in Part 2 coming later today.

I'm just very underwhelmed by TNT's coverage. Even the studio team hasn't been that great. Sure the Charles Barkley thing with Oakland was fun, but they haven't talked about the games themselves for most of the Postseason.

I guess that the point I'm trying to make it that I don't want TNT to turn into ESPN, but it looks like we might be heading in that direction.

(I know the suspense is killing you, so feel free to put your guesses on the guest in the comments....Hint- It's a blogger...not Bill Simmons or anyone like that.)

Editor's Note:
I didn't get to watch a Matt Devlin/John Thompson game this playoffs because of the local Wizards feed, so I'm not going to comment on that team. I can only guess how bad they were.

17 Comments:

Yeah, it's a tough call on Stockton. As much as his voice is great and he's been solid for years, he really is getting old and just kind of saying whatever at this point.

And his smoking hair is downright freaky in HD. We've touched on this before but it continues to defy logic.

thesportshernia said...
May 10, 2007, 2:47:00 PM  

Yeah, somebody needs to put a damn muzzle on Reggie Miller. He talks constantly and contradicts himself w/in the span of 10 seconds. He's god-awful.

Stockton is basketball's Dick Enberg, he's lost it a little bit, but I still love the guy

May 10, 2007, 3:10:00 PM  

Unfortunately we're going to be subjected to ESPN for the Western Conference finals. So I just want to say in advance, thanks for ruining the WCF ESPN!

Evan said...
May 10, 2007, 3:17:00 PM  

I could be wrong, but I believe TNT has the eastern finals this year. They had the west finals last year and these things rotate.

That being said, I agree with you completely. Why TNT couldn't grab someone better whose team is out of the postseason (Gus Johnson, Kevin Calabro, et al.) to fill in the lower slots instead of the ancient Stockton and the pathetic Devlin is beyond me. Mike Fratello shouldn't have been doing games with the D-list announcer (Devlin), either. Honestly, I think the ESPN crews have been better this year, which is shocking. When Breen does games with Jon Barry, that could be the best crew without the name "Marv Albert" going. Tirico's a solid two, and although Dave Pasch only got to do 2-3 games, he impressed me and his workload should be more next season. No more Brent Musburger, no more Jim Durham, these are good things. TNT still owns ESPN in the production department, but ESPN has caught up significantly in the announcer stable.

Anonymous said...
May 10, 2007, 3:21:00 PM  

Anon and Evan....you're both right. They've got the East sorry about that.

I think you've nailed this one Anon...I love Tirico doing Basketball, Dave Pasch is solid, and Jon Barry has been my favorite analyst this whole year.

P.S.- Kevin Calabro was my first AA Hearts... column I think.

http://awfulannouncing.blogspot.com/2006/11/aa-hearts_16.html

May 10, 2007, 3:36:00 PM  

Consider yourself blessed for not having to endure the wrath of John Thompson's voice during the Cavs/Wiz series. He sucks so bad and was such a blatant homer for Washington that it was a borderline mute the tv and watch the game in silence series.

GMoney said...
May 10, 2007, 3:38:00 PM  

Really?? I thought Reg did okay. I think he has upside. I have to agree with everyone with Dick Stockton. And it is not just TNT, he still has gigs with Fox baseball and NFL. HOW?? I normally right off sideline reporters, however, Pam Oliver is the shit. I don't know why. Someone please help me but it just seems like she's a pro and I cannot think of another sideline reporter I have ever noticed before...

Anonymous said...
May 10, 2007, 4:05:00 PM  

I don't think it matters what TNT does I will always perfer their sports coverage over ESPN/ABC crapfest. I swear if there was another national sports network to watch I would. Off topic, but I LOVED CNN/SI! I know I may have been the only watching it but I thought it was done well and I miss it. I just have never latched on the all the FSN for some reason. There are too many obscure channels I guess. Did anyone watch CNN/SI?

Anonymous said...
May 10, 2007, 4:10:00 PM  

What happened to Doug being the best analyist in the biz? In the past year people have been down on him. He seems to be doing the same thing he always has...TNT's best team is Marv, Steve, and Doug. That is what we will get for the Eastern Finals. (Although, since Van Gundy is outta job soon it was good with Fratello.)

Anonymous said...
May 10, 2007, 4:14:00 PM  

Hey has anyone heard anything bout the NBA TV rights? That is up soon. Please tell me ESPN/ABC is out and NBC is back in!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...
May 10, 2007, 4:16:00 PM  

Anon 4:14- I don't think it lies in his analysis as much as his delivery. Collins knows his basketball, but he just doesn't ever shut up. I don't need a ten minute diatribe on the triangle offense when Kevin Harlan is trying to call the game.

He always talks like he has just come up with the most groundbreaking idea ever.

May 10, 2007, 4:17:00 PM  

Anon 4:16- I've been digging around, but nothing yet....It'll be the first thing posted when I find anything though.

May 10, 2007, 4:18:00 PM  

Reggie Miller is defiantly becoming basketballs Joe Theismann. I still enjoy the studio crew and even like Magic when he is there.

Adrian said...
May 10, 2007, 5:25:00 PM  

I hate Devlin and Stockton. Neither one of them show any enthusiasm. Reggie Miller is really bad as an analyst. Marv Albert is ok, Kevin Harlan is clearly the best out of the TNT announcers.

mookie said...
May 10, 2007, 5:52:00 PM  

Funny you say say that Adrian.....

May 10, 2007, 5:56:00 PM  

We had Devlin in Memphis for 4 years, and they teamed him with Hersey Hawkins. When Hawkins started off, he sounded like tim Meadows' THE LADIES MAN character, I kid you not.

He only got marginally better, so they dumped him when Devlin bolted for Charlotte.

LeftWingCracker said...
May 10, 2007, 8:28:00 PM  

Having the fans vote on the broadcast teams is a damn brilliant idea. It will never happen, but it's still damn brilliant.

La Rev said...
May 11, 2007, 8:24:00 AM  

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