Former Lakers announcer Spero Dedes joins Knicks broadcast team
The announcement was held up after reports circulated that Dedes was arrested, allegedly for drunken driving, July 4 in the Hamptons. Dedes, who also will back up MSG Network play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, was considered a rising star within the Lakers after spending the last six seasons as the team's radio play-by-play announcer and was a favorite to replace Joel Meyers as the team's television play-by-play announcer after the Lakers decided not to renew his contract.
The Lakers, however, went in a different direction.
They chose Bill Macdonald, who has been with Fox Sports West since its inception in 1985, to serve as the Lakers' television play-by-play announcer on both KCAL-TV and Fox Sports West broadcasts with color commentator Stu Lantz. They selected John Ireland, who has served as the Lakers' sideline reporter on KCAL since the 2002-03 season and the current host of of 710-AM's Mason & Ireland, to call play-by-play for the Lakers' flagship radio station with former Laker Mychal Thompson. Lakers spokesman John Black told The Times' Broderick Turner that the organization changed their decision because "Spero had a change of heart" and that he "decided to pursue other options.
Dedes, a Fordham University graduate, has plenty of connections to the New York area. He worked 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-game and post-game shows and worked for NBA TV as an anchor. His duties since he moved to Los Angeles weren't 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.
"I can remember walking into [Madison Square] Garden for my first Knicks game as a teenager and feeling the magic of the place,” Dedes said, according to the New York Post. "I've been in love with this franchise ever since. When I was a broadcast student at Fordham all I dreamt about was what it would feel like to be a Knicks announcer and now it's become reality. I'm truly humbled by this opportunity, and having my family close to me again means a great deal. In addition, I’m forever grateful to the Lakers organization for my time spent there."
-- Mark Medina
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