Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson are insightful, entertaining, and two of the best announcers in any sport. They obviously know the game. I would love to have Van Gundy end up as coach of my woeful Wizards and I think Jackson was a good hire for the Warriors. They are entertaining as well. A couple of seasons ago when ABC showed a NBA superstar’s yearbook photo during a Sunday broadcast, Van Gundy went on a rant about the unknown student next to the superstar in the yearbook. He said who cares about the Superstar? I know what happened to him, I want to know about the guy next to him, Jason Smith. Did Jason Smith reach his potential? Is Jason Smith lighting the world on fire? Announcing gold. When Mike Breen said Pat Riley went to Brendan Haywood’s house before the season started to convince him to come play for the Heat, Mark Jackson questioned what in the world was going on in today’s NBA. Pat Riley traveling across the country to recruit the likes of Brendan Haywood, come on. Announcing gold. Last night their assessment or lack of assessment of Lebron James’ performance was not one of their shining moments, not announcing gold.
As Lebron James stood in the corner possession after possession, detached from the game, clearly not even trying to any objective observer, Van Gundy and Jackson didn’t feel it was worth mentioning the two time MVP would have been equally effective if he ran to mid-court during each offensive possession and did the Dougie for twenty four seconds. Mike Breen, who goes out of his way not to offend the guy selling pretzels in the upper bowl of the arena was the only one who mentioned Lebron James was having a tough night from the floor. Lebron James is an athletic freak, he is 6’8” with the body of a linebacker, he can jump out of the gym, and if he wasn’t in the flow of the offense he should still be able to crash the offensive boards and end up with at least twelve points on putbacks. If he would of focused on the offensive boards there is nobody who would be able to push him out of the lane or outjump him for the rebound. He checked out and so did Van Gundy and Jackson.
I sent a text to my friend, Hootie, in the third quarter. “I can’t believe they are not mentioning what a debacle of a night James is having.” The following play Lebron missed a fastbreak lay-up and got the rebound. Jackson stepped in to assess the play and said something along the lines of “I really like how James didn’t give up on the play and got the rebound.” Dear God. Hootie probably summed it up best with his text back to me. “They just found a way to compliment Lebron on a missed lay-up…that’s never happened before.” At some point Jackson or Van Gundy should of said something to the effect of “the Heat are up but James is an absolute mess tonight.” Ignoring how poorly James played and the lack of effort he gave during a Finals game, coming off a sub-par game for him, was absurd. Van Gundy and Jackson end up looking like fanboys of Lebron James, afraid to upset James by commenting on one of the top storylines of the games.
Van Gundy and Jackson are great announcers who had a bad bad night. Jackson will go to the Warriors and do well, although his head might explode when his players refuse to give a quarter of the effort he gave in just about every game of his NBA career. I am sure if a Warrior players gives the same effort Lebron did last night it will not be met with kid gloves. Van Gundy probably shouldn’t go to the Wizards on second thought. Andray Blatche would have the same explosive effect on his head. If either were coaching the King last night I am sure the kid gloves would of come off at some point during the game, unfortunately as announcers an intern probably spent a few minutes helping Van Gundy and Jackson unlace them after this game was over.<!--EndFragment-->