It looks as though we have another former player joining the booth as a studio analyst:
Former Hornets coach Byron Scott is rejoining ESPN as an NBA analyst. Scott was fired last month after more than five seasons in New Orleans. He coached the New Jersey Nets from 2000-04, leading them to two NBA finals appearances. Scott previously worked as an ESPN analyst during the 2003-04 season. He won three NBA championships as a player with the Lakers.
So that got me thinking. While plenty of NBA players return to the league as assistants or even make their way up in the ranks to becoming head coaches, do that many turn to commentating or being studio analysts? Not really.
So I decided to recognize five guys who I think have done it quite well. By the way if any of you like Reggie Miller or Cheryl Miller please don’t ever come back to this site.
Walt “Clyde” Frazier
It might be “swishing and dishing” or it might be “percolating,” but whatever comes out of Walt’s mouth is certainly going to be interesting. He’s one of the reasons I enjoy watching Knicks games (even if they lose). When you’ve got him and Mike Breen on hand it’s good stuff. P.S. I really miss John Anderiese. And Al Trautwig isn’t on enough.
I hate to use my own term for another one of my sites here but Barkley is truly “uncoached.” The stuff that comes out of this guys mouth is awesome. But from a skill standpoint the guy knows the game extremely well and his “no bones about it” attitude is what makes him special. He’ll tell you a team flat out sucks or if a team can make the playoffs. He’s got no qualms plus he’s hilarious and pokes fun at himself all the time. You gotta love Barkley.
It took Jackson a little while to get situated as a broadcaster but I think he and Van Gundy are awesome together. Obviously Jackson understands the game well as he was a point guard but he’s become pretty funny. My favorite Jackson line is “you’re better than that.”
Man did I do a 180 on Walton. I used to hate this guy when I first heard him announcing. Now I love him. Walton hates when players don’t try and can’t stands it when a player whines and bitches about something. It’s the best. From lines like “play the game!” to “throw it down” Walton’s become a signature announcer in the NBA. And you can tell how much he loves the game.
For all you Celtic’s fans out there, you’d be hard pressed to find a more energetic and dynamic announcer than former player Tommy Heinsohn. From “tommy points” to literally screaming at refs, this guy is what the doctor ordered. Absolutely perfect for the Boston crowd. Not quite sure he’ll ever make it to Sunday’s on NBA though.