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Does the announcing crew even matter for NBA games?

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz discusses the shakeup to ESPN’s top NBA broadcast team.

ESPN is shaking up its top NBA broadcasting team following layoffs at the Worldwide Leader, with Doris Burke and Doc Rivers set to join Mike Breen on the No. 1 team. So, of course, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz had to react to the move.

Breen was paired with the outgoing Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for quite a while, but Dan wants to know if any of that matters as he almost doesn’t care at all about who is broadcasting and the only way the broadcasters really get his attention is if they are truly awful. Dan did say he imagines that the Breen-Burke-Rivers trio will be about as good as the Breen-JVG-Jackson trio.

Amin proceeded with his thoughts, including noting that Doris is a literal Hall of Famer and that while younger fans might not remember or know it, Doc Rivers was a pretty solid broadcaster in his own right back in the day. In fact, Dan says it’s been his greatest skill post-playing career, even if he is one of the great coaching failures. Stugotz, meanwhile, doesn’t get too worked up about broadcast changes and doesn’t care if no one is calling the game. He says if you want to watch a basketball game you’re going to watch no matter who is calling it.

Amin points out that the league hadn’t been very happy with Van Gundy due to his willingness to be critical, especially of things like load management, and Dan notes that Jeff has been criticized as someone who doesn’t like basketball enough. Amin says Stugotz is right that he’s not going to stop watching because Jeff Van Gundy isn’t calling the Finals anymore, and he can also see from the league’s standpoint of not wanting negativity surrounding its marquee events with millions and millions of people watching.

Amin points out that basketball is the only sport that craps on its current stars and looks toward its past. He says basketball constantly lives in the past and is haunted by ghosts. LeBron isn’t necessarily facing the guys on the court with him, he’s facing off with Michael Jordan (and losing, Stugotz chimes in with). So in that sense, Amin says you do need a breath of positivity. Our perception of the game can be colored by the people bringing it to us at the biggest moments, he says.

Meanwhile, David Samson stopped by with his top-five underdog sports movies, and they were ... something ...

Check out the breakdown of Wednesday’s show below.


Local Hour: The Final Cey

  • Dan and Stugotz open up about loss, grieving family and more. Plus, Ron Cey was only 5’10 - why was he nicknamed the Penguin and are streakers always naked?

The Big Suey: Caught In A Pickle

  • The crew goes to Billy and Chris Cote live from Marlins Park where they’re playing in a “celebrity” softball game with mixed results. Plus, Adnan and Samson do their Top 5 list on best underdog sports movies. Also, how will the new NBA play-by-play team fair.

Hour 1: Ryan Graves + Dreaming In Color

  • The show asks if you dream in color or in black and white - around 12% of people dream without color. Former Naval pilot Ryan Graves joins to discuss his congressional testimony and seeing UFO’s during multiple flights. Plus, splitting the Powerball with your friends.

Hour 2: Scoops From The Celebrity Softball Game

  • Jeremy Tache has returned from the Marlins “celebrity” softball game with some intel on performances from the crew. Plus, what is happening with the USWNT - are they doomed in this World Cup. The show goes around the room on the Top 5 coolest people in heaven.

Postgame Show: Top 5 Coolest People In Heaven Part II

  • What’s the difference between someone being ‘cool’ and cool to hang out with.

Watch more below!


Check out the Le Batard and Friends YouTube page for more and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the show on Twitter @LeBatardShow.

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