By Dick Friedman
I am watching the replay of the Croatia-Russia men's basketball game on the Olympic Basketball Channel. (Sh-h-h, don't tell me who won!) As a former NBA editor at SI I'm eminently familiar with the two announcers: Chris Carrino, play-by-play man for the New Jersey Nets; and Steve (Snapper) Jones, the ever-popular longtime running mate of Bill Walton.
They're calling the game from the NBC studios in New York City (and Carrino frequently takes care to remind you of that). This tactic obviously saves NBC a lot of money -- it's kind of outsourcing in reverse -- and because Carrino and Snapper are doing their usual smooth, capable job, it proves this arrangement can work.
But on a few plays I'm wondering if the job is too smooth. For instance in the first quarter Croatia's Stanko Barac went up for a sweet tip-in and, having heard Carrino get juiced during Nets games, I wonder if his call of the play would have been a bit more amped had he and Snapper been courtside and exposed to the intensity in the arena.