At the heart of every National Basketball Association team is the broadcaster who connects fans to their favorite team and players during the games. Often, announcers are with a team for so long that they ultimately become part of it and are one of the key components that fans look forward to. Aside from what team you choose to root for, who is your favorite NBA broadcaster? Are they a part of your team or do they represent a different one? The DC sports section shares their favorites:
If there’s one person that has brought a new element of excitement and interest to the game of basketball, it’s Charlotte Hornets announcer Eric Collins. The new school voice behind the microphone in Charlotte may have more excitement for his players than any announcer in NBA history. Don’t believe me? Whether it’s a Miles Bridges slam or a fancy Lamelo Ball pass, he has a true knack for getting fans hype on TV. If Charlotte ever plays an NBA team, I’ll always tune into the Hornets broadcast, and Collins plays a huge role in that choice. He can make an ordinary game against an NBA lottery team shift into an exciting game with his play calling. That skill alone is rare and even though he’s calling my favorite team’s games, which does make me a bit jealous, I’ll always enjoy watching Charlotte because of Collins.
“James catches, puts up a three; won’t go! Rebound Bosh! Back out to Allen, his three pointer: BANG!!! TIE GAME WITH FIVE SECONDS REMAINING!” If there is a more iconic NBA call, I am not aware of it, because the intensity of this one mixed with the play’s greatness makes it incredible. What about in 2016 when Breen pulled out the double “BANG” when Steph Curry hit a deep three against the Thunder for the win? There are no commentators who have more great calls than Breen. His voice is recognizable, steady during most of the game and he knows when to turn up the intensity. He uses his “BANG” phrases only for top tier big shots. Breen is the perfect mix of everything you could want in a commentator, hence why he is trusted with play-by-play duties during the NBA Finals yearly.
DB! Drake’s “Woman Crush Everyday” and the only announcer I know who can show off her handles in heels. Doris Burke, who was the first woman to ever hold a national role as an NBA game analyst for ESPN as a full time employee has broken boundaries as she continues to hold her own, not only in style, but also in great company. From her incredible basketball IQ and patience with Greg Popovich, Burke has solidified her name into the sports announcer hall of fame. Burke’s great sense of humor and hustle has caused thousands to tune into primetime because of her compelling nature and detailed insight. Being able to watch Burke as an NBA Finals sideline reporter has played a huge role in my personal development as she has been a huge inspiration to me and was one of the main reasons I first started pursuing a career in sport.
Augustus Cornelius Johnson Jr. has called an NBA playoff game in 2022, so this argument is legal. Johnson is one of the most electric names in all of sports, and he shows it with every play. When a player is about to make a game-tying three-pointer, Johnson builds up the suspense as the player takes the shot before it goes in and Johnson loses his mind. It doesn’t matter what type of basketball game he’s calling, he has a lot of energy that will keep fans on the edge of their seats. He’s already known for some hilarious one-liners describing former Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson, but imagine some of the headlines Gus Johnson could come up with when a player like Ja Morant dunks over a 6’11” center. Who knows, he could get more attention than he already does and be hailed as one of the best in the game. If Johnson finds time in his busy broadcasting schedule to call more NBA games, then the entire league will benefit as a result.