Good Riddance, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, and Company

Drew BartonAnalyst IJune 1, 2008

I really have no clue what is going on in this picture.

It has nothing to do with the article. But having no clue is a pretty good description of perhaps the most horrific announcing team I have ever heard on a basketball crew. That covers a lot of ground, including a local announcer who used to tell little anecdotes about his last fishing trip and periodically interject his tale to give us the current score of the game.

Seriously, ESPN, what were you thinking foisting the idiotic trio of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson on us? The trifecta of self-indulgence did their best to wreck games as they managed to almost completely ignore the game in favor of yukking it up about whatever caught their fancy or projecting nothing but their own irrelevant ideas of what NBA rules should be.

A fine example would be the Spurs and Suns series. The first game was setting up a series many fans anticipated with great excitement. Would the huge trade put the Suns over the top to finally topple the aging Spurs or would the whining of Tim Duncan, the dirty play of Bruce Bowen and the flopping of Manu Ginobili keep the defending champs on top?

Meanwhile the crew spent most of the game pimping each other to be the next coach of the Knicks. Memo to Van Gundy and Jackson: a HUGE percentage of those of watching the Suns and Spurs play don't care about your coaching prospects or, for that matter, the Knicks.  

Their secondary topic was flopping. They spent so much time talking about it that following the game was incredibly difficult to do. They turned the series into a referendum on flopping and argued the same static viewpoints time after time after time after time. Seemingly every time the topic changed someone would bring it back around. The main miracle was they never managed to combine the topic of flopping with the topic of who would coach the Knicks.

Little better was the Celtics- Pistons broadcast team who spent the entire series discussing what constituted a flagrant foul. In a series full of momentum swings and terrific plays they reran highlights of 2 plays that may or may not have been flagrant fouls. A key fourth quarter Garnett block was followed by a highlight of a play from the first half with no relevancy.

By Game 6 of the Celtics-Pistons it was so bad I had the choice turning the sound completely off or not watching at all. Are we really that hard up for announcers that these are the best teams we can come up with?

Get rid of these guys. It is a sad state of affairs when we look forward to the Finals just for the relief of listening to Marv Albert.