Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Duncan dunked

The Cavaliers are certainly picking an odd time for a housecleaning with less than two months to go before the start of training camp, but change appears to be the name of the game.
Monday, less than a week after Michael Reghi was cast aside as the team's TV voice, Ronnie Duncan was terminated as the team's public address announcer.
A statement released to the media says the team will begin an immediate search for a replacement.
Does anybody else think Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is having visions of Pistons emcee Mason bellowing out the starting lineup at The Q? Mason has Cleveland ties, and Gilbert has the money to at least severely test Mason's loyalty to the Pistons.
While the dismissal of Reghi has brought forth fire and brimstone from the Cleveland fans and media, the sacking of Duncan promises to be far more accepted. Duncan was essentially on a one-year test run as the PA announcer, and while the veteran radio and TV sportscaster wasn't that bad, he wasn't that good either.
Duncan mispronounced names, misidentified players and tended to mumble an opposing player's name when he scored a basket, probably to mask the fact that he couldn't pronounce a lot of them. During a victory over the Spurs, Duncan called San Antonio guard Brent Barry by the name of his hall of fame father, Rick Barry.
Over the course of the season, he improved, but he never took to the role like a fish to water as the Cavs were hoping.
Gilbert apparently was hoping he had found a Mason clone in Duncan, and Duncan tried way too hard to be Cleveland's Mason. His delivery was routinely bogged down with catch phrases and contrived copycatting of Mason, right down to the taunting delivery of "Cleeeeve-land basket-ball" with the exact same inflection as Mason's call of "Deeee-troit basket-ball."
The shaky work of Duncan should serve as a lesson to Gilbert: if you want Mason, either find a way to get the real deal, or be satisfied with having somebody different. Don't hire somebody with the idea of making them someone they're not.

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