Last night was just the clearest evidence of why ABC/ESPN has failed at covering the NBA. Throughout the draft there were tons of audio issues when they panned out to Mark Jones doing the interviews. That is just for the draft coverage, but what about the actual games?
- Back in the first and second year that ABC/ESPN began covering, they used to always pan out to the crowd and showing attractive women either jumping up and down, or just sitting there and celebrating with scantily clad clothing, or sometimes both if we were lucky. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with looking at beautiful women, but when you are covering the NBA Playoffs and you're doing it, it completely takes away the meaning and seriousness of that moment/game.
- After replays when they go back to live game coverage, the camera is often fuzzy and takes a few moments to recover the sharpness of the picture quality again.
- Favoritism. Particularly during some of the playoff series. A prime example of this was when the Wizards played against the Cavaliers. It was so obvious that ESPN wanted Cleveland to win that commentators begin take sides. That is a no-no in sports coverage. I remember some of the ridiculous comments Mike Tirico made about Deshawn Stevenson and just being completely defensive of Lebron. Heck they were defensive of him in the finals again this year. How can you give unbias coverage if you have such a vested interest in certain players or teams?
- Doris Burke. Speaking of favoritism. She is just an awful commentator. I can deal with her as a sideline analyst, but I remember watching a game Mavericks at the end of the 2009-2010 season and she stated that Brendan Haywood was a major part of the offense for the Wizards when he was here. Now as a Wizards fan, most of us know Haywood was no where close to being an offensive factor. She constantly make erroneous statements like that, she favors certain superstars (like Lebron, surprise!), and she has a very annoying voice. They need to give her the boot, seriously!
- Stuart Scott is the most annoying person, hands down, on ESPN. This guy has the dumbest catchphrases and gives you the most meaningless states like, 'Lebron average 30 points per game against Kobe Bryant when the Lakers where their alternate whites'. No he never actually said that, but he generally says something in that vain. It's hard to take him serious. I also remember last year during the draft when Atlanta drafted Jordan Crawford, he made mention of Crawford being the guy that dunked over Lebron James, and then he said "It wasn't even that impressive of a dunk". Really? Dude do we care what you think about that dunk?
- They are also very inconsistent with their NBA coverage. Perhaps I've been spoiled by NBA on NBC or TNT/TBS coverage, but I knew on Sunday afternoons, Tuesday and Wednesday evening, and occasionally on Saturday, there was a NBA game on. With ABC/ESPN, you just don't know. Once the college basketball season starts, you would be lucky to catch a game on Wednesday night and even if you do, it might be one game at 9. Then on Sunday, they start ABC off with the Christmas Game and then they don't show an actual Sunday game on ABC for at least a month after. Once they show that game, it varies almost from week-to-week until March when they finally show more games.
- Their in-studio analysts are horrible. Jalen Rose rarely adds to the game, Magic Johnson always focuses on the stars and often completely misses the mark on everyone else, and Michael Wilbon is a frontrunner. The only analyst who is actually good is Jon Barry. Interestingly enough, he was the only one that picked Dallas to win the championship.
- Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson have always been so-so to me. I know some people who love them, some that hate them. At times I think they get so caught up in their schtick that they completely take the focus off the game. That isn't what they are there for. Perhaps ABC/ESPN views them as entertainment, but as a lifetime basketball fan, I want to hear some actual analysis not what Jeff Van Gundy thinks about Chris Andersen's tattoos.
What do you guys think? Is there other parts that you don't like? Do any of you actually like their coverage? Do any of you disagree with what I've said?