Portland Trail Blazers: Home to the Worst Televsion Commentator

Steven ResnickSenior Writer INovember 22, 2008

The Portland Trail Blazers are home to an up-and-coming team, with Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Ferndanez, and Greg Oden leading their resurgence. So, it begs the question on why they continue to employ the worst television commentator in the NBA?

I believe that most Blazers fans who watch games turn the volume down or turn the radio on instead just so they can listen to Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey. Another option is going to the Rose Garden so they don't have to listen to Mike Rice. Of course that only works if the Blazers are in Portland. Lastly you know it's bad when your hometown hero Bill Walton admits that the only way he can watch a Blazers game on television is to watch it without sound.

Walton has a blog and one of his topics is regarding Mike Rice and how Walton despises the "homer" announcers. As in a previous article I've written titled "Bill Walton Finally Making Sense, Scary Right?" You know your hometown announcer is horrible if Bill Walton starts making sense. Especially when it's about a certain topic like awful announcing from the team he took the championship.

Living in Portland and having to listen to Rice commentating is like listening to nails being dragged down the chalkboard. He shows how truly biased he is especially when there's a bad call that goes gainst the Blazers.

Rice says things that are just head scratchers. Such as when the Blazers were playing the Golden State Warriors. The subject of the feel good story of the year so far in Anthony Morrow who was coming off the 37 point 11 rebound performance against the Clippers. Rice flat out called the game a fluke.

How refreshing was it for Morrow to make Rice eat his words? If Morrow had made the Blazers squad, started playing well like he has for the Warriors, Rice would be comparing him to the best 3 point shooters the league has ever seen. Morrow eventually made the 3 clutch free throws to seal the victory for the Warriors and scored 25 points on another great shooting performance.

Here's a thought Mr. Rice we know you're opinionated sometimes you may just bite your tongue when you don't have anything positive to say. Morrow's story about having to catch rides to games or taking public transportation is a great story itself, but of course Rice is the only announcer that would try to make it seems like it's not a big deal.

When the Blazers were playing the Timberwolves in Minnesota, Greg Oden caught the ball in the post. As Oden was making his move Oden was ruled to have stepped out of bounds. The replays showed otherwise and Rice of course couldn't let it go.

Mike Rice instead of just saying it was a mistake by the official he begins to whine like a preschooler. When making a comparison to Rice one can only say that he sounds like that child in a mall or toy store that's not getting their way. 

The same exact thing happens with Rice. In his case he's going to be quoted along the lines as this "oh no, that's a bad call, what are you doing ref?" Then his excitement from the bad call will wane but he will then say something along the lines of this "I hope when he gets graded by the league he gets marked down for that one because he clearly missed that call."

The funniest thing about Rice is that Bill Walton is quoted as saying, "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."

Just Listen to a YouTube clip of Mike Rice and his version of a hard foul from Lamar Odom on Brandon Roy. Rice states "Odom deserves a flagrant four foul." The reason that Rice would even say something so ridiculous is beyond me. Rice felt that Odom was just going after Roy because he had just gotten back from injury and the first time seeing the play it looked worse than it actually was.

The funny thing is, after reviewing the play several times the opinion changed from his right hand man, his partner Mike Barrett. Barrett is quoted as saying this "there's the Odom foul, a good hard foul, it was a hard foul to be sure. If you look at the replay even though it's a hard foul by Odom and Gasol it doesn't look as bad as it was initially. It was just a bad fall by Roy."

Barrett is the Blazers best commentator for the Blazers. His problem is that he is too submissive to Rice. Barrett needs to speak up more and challenge Rice especially when he disagrees with what is being said. When listening to the clip of the Odom play Barrett clearly disagrees but it's Rice who dominates Barrett.

Look what Rice had to say even after Barrett admits that it wasn't as bad as it looks. Rice responds with "I don't think Odom had any concern about blocking that shot. He wanted to commit a hard foul and didn't go for the ball. I think it was a Flagrant Two."  His bias for the Blazers to get their way is  as plain as day right there. Here's the clip of Odom's hard foul. 

The NBA more recently has become known for fining or suspending players for flagrant fouls. The fact is it was only a hard found and not a flagrant. Odom was not suspended or fined for the hard foul. Rice's partner Barrett made the correct call it was a hard foul and just a bad fall.

The Portland Tribune Sport Columnist Dwight Jaynes in October of 2007 wrote an article titled "Blazers Analysts Risking Credibility." Jaynes is basically calling the Blazers announcers hypocrites. Here's a quote from the article "I’m not sure if these broadcasters understand how bad it sounds when they jump on Zach Randolph, as they did last week on the air, for his horrible defense, when they sang his praises night after night while he was a Blazer."

Isn't it interesting that Rice only has the guts to call out a player when the player has left the team? It's definitely embarrassing having to listen to Rice and if anyone is watching NBA.com Broadband will get to listen to him.

The most hilarious things that come out of Rice's mouth is his comparisons of Blazer players to some superbly talented NBA players or players who have already retired and are legendary. Rice has said that Sergio Rodriguez is the next Steve Nash he wasn't comparing them he just stated this as fact, another was stating that Greg Oden will be the next Tim Duncan before Oden had played a single game in the NBA, and worst of all he's nominated the bench players on the Blazers as in Travis Outlaw and Martell Webster as the next Jerry West.

There's no doubt that Rice is the worst announcer for a NBA team. There are probably commentators out there that would give Rice a run for his money, but at this point it's not even close. Rice wins and it's not something he should be proud of.

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