May 29, 2002

THIS: used to be the highlight of Tom Tolbert's career. Now he's an NBA commentator on the rise. I strongly disagree with Chucky Brown's assessment of Tolbert. Tom has been a pleasant surprise. He's given the dismal NBC team a boost. I hear that he's on the short list for ESPN's NBA team for next season. Who are your favorite sports announcers/commentators - and why?

posted by jacknose to other at 05:08 PM - 10 comments

EJ, Kenny, and Charles on the NBA on TNT/TBS. Hands down the best pre-half-post game show.

posted by corpse at 05:45 PM on May 29

I'll give Tolbert credit: I don't like him, or his style (something about him screams "I'm stupid"), but at least he's willing to lay predictions on the line. Team TNT is obviously the best studio sports team; they have a natural camraderie and good-natured ribbing that real sports fans share. For in- game announcing, Jon Miller is pretty good (ESPN Baseball) while his partner Joe Morgan is abysmally ignorant and moronic; Hall of Fame credentials do not an eloquent or informed speaker make, and Morgan says some stupid things. Local Mariner announcer Rick Rizz is pretty decent, although some of his partners (former Mariners like Dave Henderson and Dave Valle) tend to be idiotic color men who demonstrate with each broadcast that same gross misunderstanding of the game that ensured they never became great players during their uniformed years. This reminds me of a related question: does anyone, I mean ANYONE, actually like Bill Walton? He's got to be the worst announcer/color man in the NBA, if not all of pro sports. Why does this guy keep getting a paycheck? 've been hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't think Walton is a biased, bloviating gasbag of incompetence and inanity... I can only assume he has secret pictures of the head of the NBC Sports division naked and cavorting with a goat and an 11-year-old altar boy.

posted by hincandenza at 08:02 PM on May 29

Bill Walton cracks me up. I like him, at least until he wears that goddamn tie dyed shirt again.

posted by corpse at 08:08 PM on May 29

The ESPN crew that does the NFL pregame, Berman, Jackson, Sharpe, and Mortenson are hands down the best at previewing games. Berman is a class act, and helped Jackson, and Sharpe take their football knowledge, and make it entertaining, and it doesn't grate on my nerves like the putzs from fox, and they are 100 times smarter then the fools at cbs. Mort gets all the inside info. As for a game duo, or team, the Sunday night football team at ESPN is my fav.

posted by jbou at 02:14 AM on May 30

A lot of people simply grow on you, and Walton is one of them because he's pretty fun. "Where would the Clippers be without Sean Rooks?" Actually uttered during a telecast once, and when you combine the team, the player and Walton's voice (the Billwinkle), it's good for a chuckle or two.

posted by jackhererra at 09:37 AM on May 30

As for Tolbert, I don't have a lot of use for him and I really wish it weren't so. Another guy who sounded great on Rome because he said "dude" and "babe" a lot, and thus got elevated by some boob at NBC who has no clue. Sorry for two posts on same subject.

posted by jackhererra at 09:41 AM on May 30

Would love to know whether Snapper Jones actually hates Walton as much as I think he does. Hubie Brown pains me. I like Tolbert, especially when he calls Nowitzki "Dirk Diggler".

posted by WilberT at 11:31 AM on May 30

I like when they call Dirk "Irk with no D." I don't remember which group of commentators do that. I'm thinking NBC though.

posted by insomnyuk at 11:41 AM on May 30

I, for one, will be happy when ESPN/ABC takes over the NBA from NBC. (Wow, too many letters.) If their NFL coverage is any indication, ESPN will upgrade the commentary. NBC really became quite painful. Pat Croce and Jayson Williams were awful. I actually enjoyed the days of Bob Costas and Pat Riley. But it is true that no one does it better than Ernie, Kenny, and Charles--that is, as far as entertainment goes. I don't know how many times that I've laughed out loud listening to them banter back and forth. They make the NFL Fox crew seemed scripted. Anyone have a favorite female commentator? I noticed that they've been popping up everywhere.

posted by jacknose at 12:42 PM on May 30

Danny Ainge is the best color guy in the NBA. Tells it like it is, backed up by plenty of playing and coaching experience. He knows the league inside and out, because he's actually played against most of these guys and coached against the rest of em. That goes a long, long way. As far as baseball goes, Red Sox color man Jerry Remy is amazing, and should be doing national games. He always knows what managers are going to do before they even know. And he explains things in a way that let the average baseball fan understand the nuances of the game.

posted by Conquistador at 01:13 PM on May 30

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