Instead of talking about the beat-down Blake Griffin gave the Pacers tonight on his way to a career-high 47 points, I decided to take a different route.
I thought it was about time that we recognize some of the former Pacers and the great jobs they are doing now that their playing careers are over. Some of these guys have been around for a long time, while others are relatively new to the media.
There are some announcers that you love, and then there are ones you love to hate. While this is all just personal opinion, one can not argue that the job isn't hard. Some former Pacers players are making it look that way, though. These guys have all found homes after they hung up their Pacers jersey. They are all doing a great job, and I think it's about time that someone gave them some recognition for their great work. Keep it up, fellas.
The Pacers fell to the Clippers tonight, and even though it left a horrible taste in our mouths, at least Granger has gotten out of his shooting slump and Collison continues to light it up. Granger had 32 points and five assists while Collison had 30 points and eight assists. The two combined for 62 points, but Griffin and Eric Gordon combined for 70 for the surging Clippers.
Indiana will stay in California, where they will face the Golden State Warriors, late Wednesday night.
It seems like "Slick" Leonard has been in the broadcast booth with Mark Boyle ever since I was born. Don't look at this as a bad thing, though; these two have been a remarkable tag team during all those years.
Even though "Slick" has had some health issues come up in the past few years, he is still committed to his work. I can remember the late school nights as a kid when I had to go to bed early, but I was able to get the AM radio station to listen to the game. Every game seemed as though it were game seven of a critical playoff series. Even listening to them today brings back so many memories. There is no doubt in my mind that these are the two best NBA broadcasters on the radio today, still.
For those people that know Reggie Miller's true personality, what you see on TNT today is no surprise. He is a perfect fit with Kenny and Charles and the whole crew. He knows when to be serious and when to make you laugh. He can take some hilarious jabs at Charles and some of the other guys, but he can also give you some very good insight into the games and the players.
Yes, his sister is pretty good at her job too, it must run in the family.
I think he has a lot to offer, and he works great with everyone there. His analysis of the games is very good and on the same level as any other analyst in my opinion. He wanted to play his entire career as a Pacer instead of chasing a ring, and there really isn't anything more admirable than that.
Mark Jackson didn't get much of the spotlight with Reggie here in town, but he really knows his stuff. Working for ESPN now, he really adds some great observations to the games.
While I don't much care for anyone else working in the ESPN booth, Mark is really honest about his opinions and isn't afraid to tell you what he would do in the same situation. He can be critical of players while also praising them in different situations. Mark strikes me as the type of guy that doesn't really have any enemies. He is a straight shooter and has some really good stories. Mark was really underrated in my opinion as a player, and now as a commentator, he is really displaying his talent.
Another NBA analyst for ESPN has even more excitement to the things he says than Mark. Jalen Rose may not have been loved by Coach Isiah Thomas during his time here in Indy, but the rest of us did. The crazy/fun personality he displayed was great, because you knew when it came time to get serious and focus on the task at hand, he would be able to get the job done. He might be more well-known for his role in the "Fab Five", but Jalen fit very well here as a Pacer.
The same things I said about Reggie and Mark Jackson would apply to Jalen here as well. Much like them, he is very honest and has some really great stories and insight to the game. The fact that these guys all played together too just makes things more interesting in my opinion. Jalen has some strong opinions and really carries the NBA shows on ESPN.
Clark Kellogg is one of my favorite commentators of the game of basketball. He has some amazing analysis at both the college and professional level. He has been working with the Pacers for quite awhile now, and his work on the floor and his work on the camera are both excellent.
While he can provide some really good insight to Pacers games, I think he is more well-known for his work with CBS during March Madness. Clark is one of the staples there with that event, and for good reason. Clark's knowledge of the game of basketball is extremely high, and he can break things down very well. He is familiar with all of the teams, players, and coaches, and isn't afraid to voice his opinion.
Just hearing Clark on the TV is great, because you know March Madness is just around the corner.
When I think about Jeff Foster, another name comes to mind. Austin Croshere was a Pacer for a long time, and he knew his role and played it well. While he was never the best player on the court, he seemed to always do the little things that ended up helping this team get to where it did. Austin was a scrapper, but he could go inside with the big boys and make plays. Seeing him in another jersey felt weird, and when he came back, it was like we got something back from the Lost and Found.
With the health problems that "Slick" Leonard has had over the past couple of years, Austin has filled in with Mark Boyle and done a really good job. He likes what he is doing now and wants to continue it at some level. While he isn't "Slick" (but then again, who is?), he has proved that he has what it takes to do the job. Good luck going forward, Austin.