Play-by-play announcer Bob Fitzgerald calling the best Golden State Warriors playoff dunk in the last 20 years*.
NBC’s play-by-play announcer for men’s and women’s basketball at the 2012 London Olympics will be Bob Fitzgerald, the play-by-play guy for the Golden State Warriors since 1993 (almost 20 years now).
It’s the fourth Olympics for Fitzgerald, who has also done water polo, basketball and swimming in the past. And in an interview with Warriors.com posted yesterday, he mentioned the women’s team’s shot at winning their fifth straight gold medal as one of the things he’s excited about.
“The women’s team could win their fifth straight gold medal,” Fitzgerald said in the interview (at about the 7:30 mark). “That could be historic…Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird – they’ve got everybody. Maya Moore, Tamika Catchings, and Swin Cash. And there’s six UConn players. I spent an hour with Geno Auriemma today getting ready for – there are games on Saturday.
“So to see a United States team win five straight gold medals, to see the men’s basketball team…it’s a fun thing. And the pride that these guys take to play for their country, it really is different – it’s not the salary cap and guaranteed contracts, and this and that; it really is that you’re playing basketball for a lot of the right reasons. Just the whole Olympics themselves – I like sports, they come along once every four years, it’s a special time, and it’s 16 days you’re gonna see some crazy and amazing stuff and you’re just kind of glad you’re there.”
He was obviously comparing Olympic basketball to the NBA when talking about the pride in representing one’s country in the Olympics, but with Fitzgerald I don’t think any of that is just a line – the guy genuinely loves basketball.
And really, he has to.
Think about it: you have to love basketball quite a bit to cover the Warriors since the time he began in 1993 – the last time they made the playoffs was in 2007 and prior to that it was 1994 (when he was a backup play-by-play guy) with a whole lot of wasted trips to the NBA Draft Lottery in between. In that time, he’s done a great job of honing is ability to pull moral victories from the jaws of ugly defeats – it’s remarkable really. He even tries his hand at humor every now and then.
Fitzgerald on the remarkable ability for former Warriors to heal after being traded.
Whatever Warriors fans might feel about him, Fitzgerald and color announcer Jim Barnett form among the best local broadcast teams in the NBA and another trip to the Olympics is well-deserved after years of suffering through losses. Fitzgerald will be paired with Ann Meyers for the women’s games and Doug Collins for the men’s games. And as a Warriors fan, it’s just sort of cool, hilarious, and/or weird to think about him actually getting a chance to call games for winning teams.
In 2009, Andris Biedrins was legitimately considered the future of the Warriors. That hasn’t yet come to fruition.
* The Warriors have only been to the playoffs twice in the last 20 NBA seasons.