There are plenty of decent play-by-play guys, and they generally stay out of the way. But I get annoyed by almost every ex-coach or jock that ESPN and TNT roll out. Steve Kerr is alright, but Lenny Wilkens, Doug Collins, John Thompson, even Mike Fratello earlier in the year, were all HORRIBLE. Awful. At least Bill Walton has reached the "Dick Vitale" stage in his career where you blow off everything he says anyways and just seems happy to be there. But all of these guys are terrible. They've got a maddeningly strong flair for the obvious, don't give us any insight, and are typically full of themselves. I'd love to transplant Howard Cosell back from the dead to put a few of them in their place.
This does relate to the TrailBlazers ... in case you missed it, the Portland Tribune is reporting that Brian Wheeler will "likely" return to the Blazers' broadcasting team next season, but more importantly, Steve Jones' status with the team is undecided. The tribune quotes the following:
The TV analyst missed a number of Blazer games this season due to national commitments with ESPN and ABC, and he flies to Connecticut for ABC’s Sunday studio show each week. He may choose to end his long-standing relationship with the Blazers and stick with his national duties. One other factor: Blazer hierarchy is not thrilled with Jones’ frank and unbiased comments about the team, which is appreciated by this and many other listeners.
That's not good news. I've always enjoyed Steve Jones, for multiple reasons. It wasn't a surprise when NBC -- and then ABC -- snatched him up, and it's a shame we might not get to enjoy him as much next year, although it sounds like the Blazer front office may have something to do with that as well. If Jones is indeed replaced, here's hoping they don't bring in another cheerleader ... I'm not sure if we can take two Brian Wheeler's.