Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Albert/Breen/Harlan/Stockton Sports Theater 3000

Having covered the NHL database already, tonight we'll take a look at updates to the database of every known regular-season and postseason NBA telecast.

(Standard disclaimer: These announcer totals come from the lists maintained at The 506 Forums (free registration required to view); in this post, we're working with data posted by John Moynihan and Tim Brulia. And as always, you can see the top 16 in each category on our TV databases page.)

While I'm not convinced we have every NBA game ever in the list and there are still a sizable number of gaps (some 2.4 percent of the announcer data is uncertain), the data we have is ... what we have. Moreover, while I'm not convinced all of the guesses we have are correct, I do think it's fair to estimate off them -- for example, if a hypothetical network has a dozen doubleheaders over the course of a season, their lead and no. 2 crews probably worked about 12 games each that year.

Because of that uncertainty, however, I maintain two separate NBA lists: one that counts only the confirmed games and one that includes the hypotheses of Moynihan's original notes.

Regardless of your counting method, Monday night's Wizards-Pistons game on TNT is the 7,500th in the NBA database. Among those 7,500 games, 2,457 have come on TNT and another 1,456 on ESPN. NBC, the top-ranked broadcast network, has shown 967 tilts -- and I feel really old when I realize that "Roundball Rock" hasn't been on TV in almost five-eighths of my lifetime.

It probably won't surprise most of you to learn that the three most-televised teams are the Lakers, Celtics and Knicks, nor that Marv Albert checks in as the dean of NBA broadcasters with 995 appearances (994 on play-by-play, plus a color appearance alongside Chris Schenkel on ABC for a Knicks-Rockets game in 1973).

The top three PBP voices of all-time are currently active in the people of Albert, Mike Breen and Kevin Harlan; Dick Stockton, who may not have officially retired but hasn't appeared since 2015, is fourth. As of the end of the regular season tonight, those four announcers have handled a total of exactly 3,000 games.

Albert enters the playoffs five games and six PBP appearances shy of 1,000, a mark that only Bill Clement has reached on a single sport in the United States. Breen needs 21 games to reach 750.

On the analyst side, all-time leader Hubie Brown is two confirmed games shy of 950 and 25 total appearances, including guesses, away from 1000. Doug Collins follows him at 666 and 690 respectively. Jeff Van Gundy, the leader among those analysts whose careers started since the uncertain announcer data ends in 1993, is third overall with 545.

Reggie Miller needs eight more games to reach 400, all on color commentary, and 10 more to tie his sister Cheryl for the 13th-most appearances in league history. Mark Jackson enters the playoffs with 387 broadcasts, five behind Miller.

Following the passing of Craig Sager in December, David Aldridge's 262 confirmed broadcasts make him the longest-tenured sideline reporter in the playoffs, although he trails Doris Burke by 22 games if you include Burke's color work. Since we're missing a lot of sideline reporters from the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, both individuals may well be shorted 40 games or so, but again ... we have what we have.

The regular season concludes tonight, leaving anywhere from 60 to 105 national telecasts in the playoffs that begin Saturday on ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV.

No comments:

Post a Comment