As the long-time radio voice of the Sacramento Kings, there isn’t anything Gary Gerould hasn’t seen, heard or witnessed. Over the course of the franchise’s 32 seasons in Sacramento, the venerable broadcaster, known to the masses as the G-Man, has been revered for his smooth yet colorful approach to calling Kings games.
In a career filled with plenty of highlights, Gerould will reach another milestone on Sunday when he broadcasts his 2,500th game.
“I had no idea that I might have the opportunity to do that,” the 76-year-old radio voice said, reflecting on his longevity in the NBA with Kings.com. “I hoped that it would be for a good long period of time, but never even dreamed that it might last the way it has lasted.”
Gerould was likely destined to accomplish this monumental feat. Growing up in the small town of Midland, Mich., the radio voice of the Kings was captivated by sports and broadcasting at a young age. As a teenager, he explored that interest by spending time at the local radio station, located just a mile away from his home. The staff took a liking to Gerould, who considered the station his own personal “sanctuary”.
“From as young as I can ever remember, that’s what I wanted to do,” he said of his interest in media. “I had a fascination with sports and broadcasting.”
Gerould went on to study at Anderson University, a small college in Indiana, but returned to Michigan every summer, where he worked full time at his hometown station. He later parlayed his education and experience into a broadcasting job out west with KHSL Television in Chico. And after two years, Gerould made the 90-mile move south to Sacramento for an opportunity with KCRA Television and Radio.
Throughout his 20s and 30s, Gerould honed his craft covering a multitude of sports at a variety of levels. But it wouldn't be until his 40s that he got his shot to call the NBA.
“When the Kings came along in 1985, I had not done basketball for about 15 years,” Gerould recalled. “And it was kind of interesting that the opportunity afforded itself. And as it worked out, I was able to get the job and here we are 32 years later and a whole lot of games later. Looking back on the big picture, it’s kind of interesting the way it all evolved.”
Since taking the reigns of Kings broadcasts following the team’s move to Sacramento, Gerould has been blessed to experience basketball at its highest level. From the days of Bird, Magic and Jordan to the reign of Webber, Bibby and Stojakovic, the radio voice of the Kings has provided memorable commentary on some of the game’s biggest stars.
“I’ve been so fortunate to see so many greats,” Gerould said. “That’s part of the job that makes it so special. Because on any night, you may see something that just totally blows your mind. (These) guys are such amazing athletes. You know it, you see it. That’s part of the charm of what I’m privileged to get to do every night the Kings get to take the floor.”
G-Man has also witnessed the game transform in ways that continue to impress him each and every day. He notes the rise in athleticism among players in the ‘80s and ‘90s as a complete game-changer. And in today’s NBA, he’s in awe of the perimeter marksmanship that has become a standard prerequisite to success in the League.
“It is always interesting how the game is always evolving,” he said. “There’s always a new wrinkle, there’s always an evolutionary step taking place and that makes it fun. You watch these guys and you marvel. To me I’m a fan; I’m a broadcaster, but I’m a fan just like everybody else. And you love seeing these guys put their skills on display.”
With a Kings broadcasting career that’s spanned over three decades, there’s plenty of moments in team history that stand out for the G-Man. He remembered vividly the “fanatical support of fans as the NBA was introduced to Sacramento” during the team’s first season in California. He reminisced fondly over ARCO Arena’s deafening rumble during Kings first-round matchup against the Sonics in 1996. And he looked back bittersweetly to the early 2000s when the Kings battled the Lakers for Western Conference supremacy.
But through the ups and the downs, the veteran broadcaster is showing no signs of slowing down. As he readies to call game No. 2,500, Gerould is approaching it with the same enthusiasm and fervor of his very first broadcast.
“It is taxing, but by the same token not many people get the opportunity to do what I do,” said Gerould when asked about dealing with the demands of a long NBA season. “And I love what I do. I have a passion for the game and I have a passion for broadcasting. It’s been my life and I love the opportunity to do it.
“I think I’m so fortunate and so blessed that the organization has treated me well over the years and I continue to have an opportunity,” he added poignantly. “And as long as I have good health and as long as I feel like I can continue to do a credible job, I want to continue because I just love it. It’s just ingrained in me.”
Jonathan Santiago is a freelance writer. Find more of his work by visiting his website.