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Kevin Love
Kevin Love's streak of consecutive double-doubles ended Sunday, at 53.
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

From courtside to fans' ears, announcers spice up the game

By Brian Powell, for
Posted Mar 15 2011 2:49PM

We're going to jump right into this new column that I'm putting together for, but I'd like to start this new endeavor with a bit of background.

I started out my post-college career working for an NBA team (which we won't name here) and then I created, wrote and edited my own website called "Awful Announcing," which focused on the ins and outs of broadcasting.

Well la-DI-DA for you! What qualifies someone like you to comment on the NBA's on-air talent, you might ask.

Outside of writing specifically about the industry for the past five years, I'm foremost a fan of the game and how the media bring it to the masses. Like any profession, there are people who are great at their jobs and those who might need a little more practice. I believe that fans identify with the announcers (both the good and the bad) of their favorite teams. That is why I want to make this column a place to enjoy the exciting calls, goofy antics and milestone moments from the people that bring the game to you every day.

Basically, I'll be all over the map. I hope you enjoy it!

Ladies and Gents......THIS is NBA Aircheck!!! Let's get right into the first column ..

Record breakers

As a fan of the game, one of the things I enjoy most is hearing how an announcer tackles record-breaking moments. There has to be the perfect balance of highlighting the event, but also knowing when to be quiet so fans can take in the occasion like they're in attendance. This only happens a few times a year (if that). Recently, two announcers got to take their shot at calling a record-surpassing moment.

Earlier this year, Reggie Miller was calling the game when his record was broken, Video and he and Ray Allen shared a wonderful moment during the broadcast on TNT. However, it was Tom Hanneman who got the call of Kevin Love's record breaking double-double exactly right.

Hanneman gave all the relevant information, congratulated Love and then let the man have his moment. I would have liked analyst Jim Petersen to have given it a few more seconds before jumping in. But, overall, a great job by that team.

Call of the Week

Occasionally, former players can be afraid to critique their peers once joining the announcing ranks. Chris Webber is someone who certainly hasn't held back in that regard. On NBA TV, Webber probably summed up everyone's feelings on the Heat and their recent struggles.

Bravo for not being afraid to speak your mind, Chris.

Call of the Wack(y)

It's not often announcers get the pleasure of being on mic when an animal makes its way onto a court/field, but it always makes for a light moment. Everything from squirrels to birds to lizards has slowed play, but the San Antonio Spurs' announcers might have had the oddest animal interrupt their broadcast. Twice.

Video In 2009, Manu Ginobili had to take out a wild bat during a game against the Kings. And during Friday's game -- again against visiting Sacramento -- a relative of the first bat showed up to avenge his fallen brother.

Here are Bill Land and Sean Elliott calling the second bat appearance of their careers.

This week in NBA history

March 19, 1995:

The contest was slotted for NBC's Game of the Week on March 19, 1995 and here's your clip! Enjoy Bob Costas, Marv Albert and Matt Guokas on the call of the pregame and opening few minutes.

Know the rules

Speaking of the Bulls, one of Jordan's "bodyguards" back in the day was forward Stacey King, who now works as a color analyst for Chicago. In the 90s, King was known to throw (and receive) a few elbows. Which is why it seemed a bit odd that he didn't seem to know that a "bow" is an automatic foul in the League.

King astutely pointed out that you need to let an offensive player get a chance to establish himself in the post, but that player can't make room with an elbow to the head. It's always a hard balance to be objective with the team you follow every day, but the great announcers are able to pull that off.

He said it

"So, I've got my files and when we came up here for the seminar, CBS hands you a book with each team, tournament history, that kind of thing. While you don't put everything in between your ears, because there's too much, you know how to get your hands on it immediately if you have a question about something. The homework is massive."
-- Ernie Johnson on the Turner Sports transfer over to March Madness for a few weeks.

The week ahead

Monday, March 14

San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat (ESPN, 8 p.m.) -- Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Heather Cox

Orlando Magic at L.A. Lakers (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.) -- Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters

Tuesday, March 15

NBA TV Fan Night: Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers (NBA TV, 10 p.m.) -- Rick Kamla, Kevin McHale, Chris Webber (with local announcing crew)

Wednesday, March 16

Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat (ESPN, 8 p.m. ) -- Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.) -- Mark Kestecher, Mark Jackson

Thursday, March 17

Cleveland Cavaliers at Portland Trail Blazers (NBA TV, 10 p.m.) -- Mike Barrett, Mike Rice (Local Announcing Crew)

Friday, March 18

No national games

Saturday, March 19

Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat (NBA TV, 7:30 p.m.) -- Eric Reid, Tony Fiorentino (local announcing crew)

Sunday, March 20th

No national games

Brian Powell is a freelance writer and founder of

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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