The Clippers have had a rotating cast of characters in their broadcast booth the past few seasons.
Ralph Lawler was the constant on play-by-play for 40 seasons. From 2002 to 2017, he was joined by Mike Smith as the color commentator. But then a game of musical chairs commenced.
Bruce Bowen was brought in as the analyst next to Lawler, but only lasted one season after saying some disparaging things about Kawhi Leonard, who the team hoped to target in free agency. The Clippers targeted some big names to replace him, including Reggie Miller, ultimately settled on analyst-by-committee approach in Lawler’s final season. Corey Maggette and Don MacLean got the majority of the reps, and were supplemented by Hubie Brown, Mike Fratello, Ryan Hollins, and even Bill Walton during the 2018-19 season.
Brian Sieman, the Clippers’ radio announcer, took over for Lawler in 2019-20 and partnered with another new addition in Chauncey Billups. Maggette and Fratello filled in when Billups was otherwise occupied with national TV duty, but now Billups is moving to the bench, leaving another vacancy on the team’s broadcast. Maggette is still closely associated with the team and would appear to be a natural replacement should he be offered the role. Fratello still has some responsibilities with NBA TV but is a potential replacement as well.
It could be fun for the Clippers to go in a new direction altogether. Quentin Richardson is a beloved fan favorite and excellent podcast host, and he now has experience with the Orlando Magic broadcast team, though that has come as a studio analyst. Richard Jefferson doesn’t have any ties to the Clippers, but he’s an L.A. native and has significant TV experience both on ESPN and as a game analyst for the Nets. When we posed the question on Twitter, Matt Barnes’ name came up frequently. Lawler also threw in his two cents.
I would be happy with combo of Corey Maggette and Mike Fratello, but would welcome some Don MacLean as well. Somewhere down the line it would be good if they could settle on a consistent two person team for the long haul. https://t.co/nKgEr1SITJ— Ralph Lawler (@Ohmeomy) October 21, 2020
The Clippers analyst job should be pretty attractive: call games for one of the best teams in the league and cross the street once in a while to do hits for ESPN. Hopefully, the broadcast talent matches the level of talent on the court.
More news for Thursday:
- I gave my take on Tyronn Lue’s introductory press conference yesterday. Here are more reactions from the L.A. Times, the Orange County Register, ESPN and The Athletic.
- Dan Devine goes over the challenges facing the Milwaukee Bucks with their superstar a year away from free agency. The Clippers are in a similar situation.
- The Athletic polled player agents about a variety of topics upon the conclusion of the NBA season. There is some incredible candor in here.
- John Schuhmann profiled the 10 most interesting free agents.
- Stan Van Gundy was hired as the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. Kevin Pelton analyzes the fit.
- Mike Prada compares Anthony Davis to the greatest defensive player of all time, Bill Russell.