Dick Vitale on the NBA? Not at Duke? Say What?
Adjust your ears and your announcer expectations Wednesday night. It's kind of gimmicky for sure and Dick Vitale admits he's feeling some jealousy pangs already. Vitale and his fellow college basketball broadcaster Dan Shulman will be calling an NBA game, the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat, while ESPN's NBA team of Mike Tirico, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson come into Cameron Indoor Stadium where Davidson and star guard Stephen Curry arrive to play Duke.
Vitale's uncontrollable enthusiasm for college basketball always comes through. Plus, he's a trooper. When this idea was proposed by ESPN, Vitale said, "I was kind of surprised. Taken aback. Frankly, it floored me. But ESPN has been good to me for 30 years so if they want to try this I'll do it. I'll participate and do my best but my little disappointment is that I was really pumped up to see Curry play against Duke at Cameron. I'm a little jealous of those guys."
Vitale said he's going to "try to be as passionate doing the Heat game. I'm going to have a little fun with the one-time thing."
But some ideas are probably better left untried. Vitale should be at Cameron. Van Gundy and Jackson should be in Miami. What's charming (and I know you all don't agree about the charm part) about Vitale is that his over-the-topness is genuine. If his over-the-topness is even a little bit forced, then it might become unpalatable. And, really, what's the point?
"Well, it's creating a little buzz," Vitale says. "You're calling about it."
Yikes, my fault. Point taken!
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Dick Vitale (in yellow hardhat) joins students from Purdue as they yell ahead of the game against the Duke Blue Devils. Credit: Brian Spurlock / US Presswire