Air Check: Offensive Announcing

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — For NBA fans, there’s nothing better than League Pass. Having the ability to watch every game every night (and then again the next day) is heaven.

Of course, with local broadcasts, you get local broadcasters, which can be good and bad. It can be good, because these guys know their teams better than most national broadcasters. It can be bad, because these guys love their teams more than most national broadcasters. And they’re usually not afraid to show that love.

This season, we’re highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly of League Pass here on the Hang Time Blog. So here are a few things from the last few weeks that made us laugh, made us smarter, or made us shake our heads.

Air Check archive: Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3

4. No Bambi either
Game: Memphis @ Houston, March 30
Broadcast: Houston

The Rockets appear to be happy with the acquisition of Marcus Camby, as evidenced by Bill Worrell‘s call on this late-game put-back against the Grizzlies…

One complaint about that call … Neither Worrell nor Matt Bullard gives any credit to Patrick Patterson, who initially kept the play alive with his effort on the glass.

3. Ignorance is their schtick
Game: Memphis @ L.A. Clippers, Feb. 24
Broadcast: Clippers

In the last edition of Air Check, we played a Clippers clip where play-by-play man Ralph Lawler acted like he couldn’t believe that J.J. Barea was dating a former Ms. Universe. Well, apparently ignorance is a punch line in L.A., because check out what Lawler and partner Michael Smith had to say when O.J. Mayo and Hamed Haddadi went to check in late in the second quarter…

Is this just two guys having fun because Haddadi is an unknown from the end of the bench? No. In case you forget, Lawler and Smith were suspended a game for offensive comments about Haddadi two seasons ago.

So now, the two men are apparently making fun of their suspension for making offensive comments. OK, then…

2. Possession is nine tenths of a rebound
Game: L.A. Lakers @ Dallas, Feb. 21
Broadcast: ESPN

ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy likes to challenge conventional thinking and established rules. That can be a good thing sometimes, like when he challenged the idea of taking a player out of the game as soon as he picks up a second foul. But in arguing with Mike Tirico about who should get credit on a tipped offensive rebound, does Van Gundy have a point?

1. Offensive play-by-play
Game: Atlanta @ Philadelphia, Feb. 21
Broadcast: Philadelphia

Question for NBA play-by-play guys: Why don’t you wait to see the replay before proclaiming that an official’s call was “ridiculously bad”?

Lou Williams was clearly moving when Jeff Teague ran into him, which Sixers analyst Malik Rose seems to realize as he watches the replay, though he still says that Teague got “bailed out.” Meanwhile, play-by-play man Marc Zumoff apparently stands by his “ridiculously bad” call.

If you hear anything on a broadcast that deserves mention in this space next time, send us an e-mail, with the details (game, quarter, clock time).


  1. Jeff Van Gundy having a point? says:

    He was born without a point. He just whines and whines and makes game commentaries a major pain. Get rid of the guy already.

  2. cbon says:

    sean elliot. Tommy heinsohn.

  3. sarko lin says:

    wow someones drinking the haterade. Ralph Lawyer is famous. be jeallous

  4. Clutch says:


  5. okc says:

    The nuggets announcers are the absolute worst. I can understand clearly calling it one-sided to a point, but they don’t even try to talk about the game. They just trash the other team and if someone scores on the nuggs it’s never what that team did right, its only what the nuggs did wrong to allow it.

  6. the nba package is the truth

  7. nino says:

    I can’t stand the Clipps broadcaster…I mean I love it when announcers go crazy over exciting plays but he goes like “slaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam DUNKKKK” everytime a dunk happens no matter how highlight-worthy it was. Get’s pretty annoying, especially with the voice he says it.

  8. J Jeffeson says:

    Jan30, OKC @ LAC (when Blake creampied Perkins)
    the bustin a nut bout how Harden was such a draft day steal :
    “he’s much better than 24th as he was selected”
    I thought to myself that I was for certain he was selected near the top,
    so I checked the archives, indeed he was no.3 while the previous draft,
    Ibaka was taken with no.24.

  9. sixshooter says:

    The reason a tip is considered a rebound is because the two points must be credited to a player and therefore a player must have rebounded the missed shot in order to make the bucket and it only makes sense to credit the player who last touched the ball with both. If you aren’t going to credit the player with the rebound, you may as well not credit the player with the shot no matter if it is made or not because if they tip the ball towards the bucket and it doesn’t go in, they get dinged with a missed shot. Otherwise we are trying to determine what is a tip in and what is a rebound which is easier said than done. This is not the issue when the ball is tipped to another player no matter if it is an opponent or a teammate. The other player simply gets the credit for the rebound since they are the first to technically possess the ball. Makes total sense to me!!!!

    • Jeff Van Gundy's a fool? says:

      As the other commentator rightly points out, how in h3ck does a player beyond the 3-pt line get credit for a hustle-tip at the basket? Van Gundy being the genius he is, obviously believes ‘telekinesis’ is what get rebounds done … because if you want it badly enough, the ball will come to you. That’s the way of the Jedi … it goes without saying, it’s the way of lazy defenders outside the arc. Yeah right.

  10. docstone says:

    As for Ralph Lawler & Mike Smith; First Lawler is a master at what he does, he is the best. second if you check out this former Ms Universe I can see their point but of course beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, isnit it? And third I agree with them who is Hamed anyway? It’s called sarcasm. That’s the problem with the NBA and America today we are all too PC.
    BINGO !!!

  11. prix says:

    Kobe gone sour…

  12. Jameson says:

    I totally agree with Jeff van Gundy on that one. It’s ridiculous to get an offensive rebound for a tip. You don’t get a steal if you don’t recover the ball either. And what happens if the offensive player tips the ball to an opponent? Is it an offensive rebound and a turnover then!? Doesn’t make any sense at all.

  13. CAVSMAN says:


    • Nils says:

      i don´t care about any team in the nba i just want to see good basketball, that is why i watch. I get the whole thing of rooting for a team, since i am rooting for the team with the player i like to see. For example in a Boston vs. Memphis matchup i would cheer for Boston, because i like to see Rondo play.

      But the simple picking on someone, a really nice person, who just made one unpopular decision, is so redicilous in my eyes, that i could break my neck by shaking it disappointed. And to post it in a thread where LeBron or the Cacs aren´t mentioned is so retarded that i have to beg you: Don´t have kids!

      At this stage i am disappointed in, too, because they should really filter what can be written in here. Even wikipedia, which is not a scientific scource, does that. I check this side 5-10 times a day and am really edicted to it, so i am very sad to still read *LeChoke* ….

    • David Stern says:

      CAVSMAN will be suspended for 1 post for his offensive comment and fined.