Poll: Would you prefer Spero Dedes or Joel Meyers as the Lakers' play-by-play announcer?
Laker fans don't just expect an NBA championship every season.
They expect a championship voice to narrate that journey. It's a role the late Chick Hearn filled admirably, enthusiastically and irreplaceably. But someone's had to take over and do the best they can as the Lakers' play-by-play announcer. For the past eight seasons that responsibility has fallen to Joel Meyers on TV broadcasts, but the Daily News' Tom Hoffarth reported that Meyers' contract won't be renewed at the end of the season. Meyers declined to comment on the matter to The Times' Broderick Turner but thanked him for the opportunity, and the Lakers said they won't comment until the end of the season. But Hoffarth's report indicates that Spero Dedes, the Lakers' radio play-by-play announcer, will replace Meyers on TV, while Fox Sports West's Bill MacDonald might take over radio duties.
Discussion about the situation has already taken place on the comment threads, but please vote in the poll so we can get an accurate take on where the needle is pointing. Here are a few things to consider before voting.
Meyers has 25 years of broadcast experience, including being the play-by-play announcer for the San Antonio Spurs for four years. He's also done NFL games, Big 12 college football, golf, two Olympic Games, and worked for networks such as NBC and ESPN. Meyers has an established track record in Southern California sports, including doing Angels and Raiders games in the 1980s, Dodgers games on cable in the 1990s and Los Angeles Lazers indoor soccer games for the old Prime Ticket. He replaced Paul Sunderland as the Lakers' television play-by-plan announcer in 2004 after spending his first two seasons with the Lakers in radio.
"The Lakers have made me feel very welcome," Meyers told The No Look Pass blog last summer. "But nobody will ever replace the voice of the Lakers ... and that is Chick Hearn."
Dedes, 31, is in his sixth season as the Lakers' radio play-by-play announcer, and has been seen as a rising star within the organization. He arrived with the Lakers after working at the YES Network in New York, calling play-by-play for college football and basketball games and serving as the No. 2 play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Nets. He also was a studio host for the Yankees and Nets pre- and post-game shows and worked for NBA TV as an anchor.
His duties hasn't been solely confined to the Lakers. With the organization's blessing, Dedes has also called NCAA basketball tournament games and NFL games on CBS and was a host in 2008 on the NFL Network's "NFL GameDay Morning" show.
"He's incredibly well-prepared," KCAL-9's Lakers sideline reporter John Ireland told The Times' Diane Pucin about Dedes. "He's one of those guys who won't get outworked and he's one of those guys, he never gets too high or too low. For a young guy, he's incredibly well-polished."
After you vote in the poll, let us know why you voted the way you did.
-- Mark Medina
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