Is there anything as painful as listening to a home crew of announcers who don't even attempt to hide their bias during the broadcast? Or even worse, they are so delusional about their hometown heroes that they think they are giving an unbiased account while level-headed fans cringe at their every word.
Living in Portland, I have been exposed to quite possibly the worst announcer on the face of the planet in Mike Rice. He is without a doubt the worst announcer in the NBA. For awhile, his analogies were so off point they were borderline amusing. I didn't mind listening to Blazer telecasts because they provided such comic relief. This season, I have literally gotten to the point that I watch all broadcasts on mute to spare myself of the man's idiotic commentary.
Rice lives off of player comparisons, namely comparing role players to former and current superstars. Here are a few that quickly come to mind:
Sergio Rodriguez as the next Steve Nash: this is a favorite point of Rice's that has been iterated during garbage time of multiple games. Undoubtedly, Rodriguez is a wonderful passer. Unfortunately, this is where the comparison stops. For those who haven't seen Rodriguez play, he invariably creates sheer chaos (for his own team) every time he steps on the floor. Picture Steve Nash, minus the court vision, minus the leadership, minus two inches and 15 lbs, minus any semblance of an outside shot, minus the clutch factor, and of course, minus the acne scars.
Greg Oden as the next Tim Duncan: This is probably the comparison that puzzles me more than any of the others. Aside from being 7 feet tall and #1 picks, these players are nothing alike. Let's start with their personalities -- Oden: Mr. Personality, goofy, and outgoing; Duncan: Mr. Monotone, soft-spoken and private. Now let's look at their games -- Oden: more power, less finesse, untamed brawn on the court; Duncan: less power, more finesse, sweetest 15-foot bank shot in the game. Oden will make a living cleaning the glass and playing with his back to the basket on offense. Duncan makes a living facing up his defender and is always a triple threat on offense. I'm sorry, but I just can't picture Oden opting for a baby-hook or face-up jumper over a drop step and throw down.
Brandon Roy as the third best player in the NBA: I didn't actually hear these words come out of Rice's mouth, but the comment was relayed to me by a friend I consider trustworthy. When I heard this one, I about gagged. Believe me, I'm as big of a Roy fan as the next Portlander. I thought his All-Star selection may have cut out a few more deserving players (ahem, Baron Davis), but by no means did I think it was absurd. Roy would be a top-5 guard in the East this season, but not in the loaded West. Take it a step, no, a leap, further and say third best in NBA? Not funny. Rice must be referring to Kobe and Lebron as #'s 1 and 2, with Roy biting at their heels. Is he implying Roy is better than Nash, Garnett, Duncan, Iverson, Wade (when healthy), Paul, and Stoudemire? Need I say more?
Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster, and various other Blazers as Jerry West: Listen to Blazer games, and you really get a feel for how much the league has expanded since the 60's. You get the feeling Rice played half of his NBA games against the Lakers based on how much he drops West's name during broadcasts. Jerry West's silhouette is still the NBA logo. I feel like I need to remind Rice of this fact every time he nonchalantly says a mediocre player "looks like Jerry West" if he scores on consecutive trips down the court. I'm sure "the Logo" would be apalled if he knew that his legacy was being abused to this degree. The seemingly weekly Jerry West comparisons were the straw that broke the camel's back for me and caused me to watch the remainder of the season on mute.
As a fan of Sports in general, all I'm asking is that hometown announcers are reasonable during their broadcasts. I understand their target audience is predominantly hometown fans, but some of these guys just get out of hand. Am I alone in this opinion?
For comic relief, listen to the Bucks announcers debate whether Mo Williams shaves his shoulders while live in the booth: