On Wednesday, NBC Sports Washington announced that Justin Kutcher of FOX Sports would replace Steve Buckhantz as the Wizards’ new play-by-play announcer.
NBC Sports Washington officially announces that Justin Kutcher will be the Wizards’ play-by-play broadcaster for the 2019-20 season. Drew Gooden will be the in-game analyst.— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 17, 2019
NBC Sports Washington also announced that Drew Gooden will replace now-Boston Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson as the team’s color analyst on NBC Sports Washington. Caron Butler would presumably be a fill-in given his work with national networks like ESPN.
The Wizards were not expected to contend on the court for much in the 2019-20 season for a variety of reasons. But Buckhantz was a fan favorite and Kutcher will face plenty of backlash just because he took Buckhantz’s job. If nothing else, keeping the broadcast crew intact is a good thing. But management decided to move in a different direction.
In an interview with Scott Allen of The Washington Post on Wednesday, Kutcher acknowledged that the Wizards job will be big shoes to fill. Still, Kutcher mentioned in Allen’s piece that “I’m not looking to be [Buckhantz]. I have the utmost respect for what he’s done.”
Buckhantz also told Leonard Shapiro of The Washington City Paper that he believed his departure was influenced by ownership, perhaps by Zach Leonsis, Ted’s son and the General Manager of Monumental Sports Network.
We shall see how Kutcher ultimately builds credibility with the fans. But if there’s one thing for sure, the Wizards have some big shoes to fill in the broadcast booth this season.