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Lakers name Bill Macdonald and John Ireland as team's play-by-play announcers for 2011-2012 season

June 21, 2011 |  3:31 pm


It's far from definitive what the makeup of the Lakers' roster will look like once the 2011-2012 season starts. But we'll know who will be calling the games.

Bill Macdonald,  who has been with Fox Sports West since its inception in 1985, will serve as the Lakers' television play-by-play announcer on both KCAL-9 and Fox Sports West broadcasts with color commentator Stu Lantz. John Ireland, who has served as the Lakers' sideline reporter on KCAL-9 since the 2002-03 season and the current host of of 710 AM's Mason & Ireland, will call play-by-play for the Lakers' flagship radio station at 710 AM with former Laker Mychal Thompson.

It had been well documented that the Lakers would field a new broadcasting team since late last season, with the Lakers' deciding not to renew Joel Meyers' contract. But it had been widely believed that Lakers' radio play-by-play announcer Spero Dedes would replace Meyers.

Dedes, 31, was considered a rising star within the organization after spending the past six seasons as the Lakers' radio play-by-play announcer.  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.

Meanwhile, Meyers had 25 years of broadcast experience, including being the play-by-play announcer for the San Antonio Spurs for four years. He had 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.

Still, Macdonald and Ireland have vast experience in the Los Angeles sports market.

A four-time Emmy winner, Macdonald has filled various roles, as host, field reporter and play-by-play announcer for NBA, MLB and NHL coverage as well as hosting the station's Lakers, Angels and Ducks pre-game and post-game shows. He had also called Kobe Bryant's career-high 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006. A four-time Emmy Winner, Ireland served as the Clippers play-by-play announcer for five seasons beginning in 1997 and had also filled in for radio play-by-play duties for various Laker and UCLA games. 

--Mark Medina

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