Air Check: One-Liners

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — For NBA fans like us, 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.

The national guys aren’t perfect either. And if they’re not careful, they may be featured here, where we highlight the best and worst of NBA broadcasts.

We’re keeping it light this week, highlighting some of the best one-liners of the last eight days…

1. First on the stage, Chris Webber

Game: L.A. Clippers @ Dallas, March 26
Broadcast: TNT

That Mike James is making an impact on a playoff race at the age of 37 is pretty amazing. That James is playing for his 11th NBA team after traveling the world in search of employment is, of course, a source of amusement.

Chris Webber goes there as David Aldridge and Dick Stockton explains James’ journey back to the league.

Stockton: “Mike James has played in Austria, France, Turkey, and China two years ago when the Mavericks were winning the NBA championship.”

Webber: “He also played in my church league.”

C-Webb then goes on to note that James might not have any space left in his house if he happened to keep a jersey from all those teams he’s played for.

2. The quick wit of Jeff Van Gundy

Game: Miami @ Chicago, March 27
Broadcast: ESPN

Bulls-Heat was arguably the biggest game of the season, as Chicago put Miami’s 27-game winning streak to an end. The biggest play of the game was Jimmy Butler‘s alley-oop throwdown on Chris Bosh. And Jeff Van Gundy capped it off with a great line as ESPN went to commercial.

“He LeBron’d the Heat!”

3. We’ve got imitations

Game: Boston @ Cleveland, March 27
Broadcast: Cleveland

Cleveland play-by-play man Fred McLeod takes advantage of a Cavs lead over Boston to poke a little fun at Celtics lifer Tommy Heinsohn.

4. This is not the matchup we’re looking for

Game: L.A. Clippers @ San Antonio, March 29
Broadcast: San Antonio

We know that Sean Elliott is one of the biggest homers on League Pass, but he’s not afraid to criticize. And when Boris Diaw switches onto Chris Paul on a critical possession down the stretch of a huge game, Elliott makes a great line: “How in the world did they get THIS mismatch?”

But somehow, Diaw gets the stop and the Spurs win the game.

5. Clyde does the wave

Game: Orlando @ Houston, April 1
Broadcast: San Antonio

We were a little harsh on the Rockets broadcasters last week, but this was a moment we thoroughly enjoyed. For some reason, the Toyota Center crowd started a wave in the middle of the third quarter on Monday. And Bill Worrell, Matt Bullard and Clyde Drexler decide to join in.


  1. Willy says:

    Well said Mike and sorry JS we were a bit hard on you as well.

  2. Mike says:

    This column seems to work better when it looks at the good broadcasts. Even when I agree that something someone says is stupid, it won’t be enjoyable to watch it anyway, so maybe it’s better to just highlight the good things and hope others follow their example.