Imagine you’re trying to do a necessary errand before the start of the first playoff game on Monday. This is the only time you have in the day to get this work done. You scramble, finish it, and get home safely, but also on purpose, to go home and watch as many of the first games as possible. Then you click on TNT and are greeted by a familiar voice. It can’t be! Oh, but that’s right. Gus Johnson calls an NBA playoff game. And after you hear the first “rise and burn,” it’s like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is on a channel again.
In all of the broadcaster’s renaissance in 2022, Johnson was out. He’s certainly the voice of Big Ten Football on Fox, likely to continue with Fox’s revamp of its media rights contract with network and increase ownership of the Big Ten Network. Johnson also plays the NFL game for Fox, but Joe Buck’s #1 broadcaster role will be taken by Kevin Burkhardt.
The voice of Big Ten football along with NFL missions, while important, still feels a bit small for a beloved broadcaster like Johnson. We love the Collinsworth slide, Romo playing total ball the best he can, and making Mike Breen bang calls, but let Iowa bounce back from a 10 point deficit on a Tuesday afternoon Seven of October. Everyone will be watching to see how it ends, but almost as much, if not more, for Johnson’s reaction to how the game ended. The infamous Gus-gasim.
Enthusiasm makes him great at college sports, but there’s another hugely entertaining game that’s perfect for his broadcasting style, which is basketball – specifically the NBA. Playoffs. Opening weekend is thrilling, so why not let one of the most excited people in the world tell us the game’s story as it unfolds. He was paired with Greg Anthony on TNT in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 112-97 win over the Toronto Raptors.
It was a pity game to introduce Johnson to the NBA Playoff world. The Raptors are without star rookie striker Scottie Barnes, in Philadelphia. Johnson shot out of the gate. When the game drew 22 all in the fourth quarter, Johnson dropped to, “22 twos, as Jay-Z would say.” Man has never called an NBA Playoff game before, and outside of several Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks games, is not active in the NBA at all. Still, he’s comfortable enough in a new environment and with a new broadcast partner, to promptly make a reference to a monster wormhole on Jay-Z’s first album.
The NBA knows what they’re doing by getting Johnson on the air. Its social media team even compiled highlights of Johnson’s best calls in the game. A good cut, but they missed their arguably best moment, he reacted to Monty McCutchen’s three-piece look with a dark vest and beige jacket with matching polka dot bow ( you have to coordinate.) As soon as Johnson sees it, he may care less about whether Tobias Harris should be called to charge. That man was from Detroit, and there was no way he could go on without acknowledging that outfit. I just wish he would say, “Monty, all we have to do is get you some strong points and you’ll be ready for Saturday night.”
But see, this is why Johnson is great. It’s not just him screaming or the games he calls have a supernatural tendency for moments of thrill and awe. It’s the little things he finds, whether it’s the costumes or the chance to consult a poignant album cut, Johnson is looking for things to do to create a better experience for viewers.
His next playoff performance will be the Milwaukee Bucks vs Chicago Bulls, Game 2. With three playoffs every night, trust and believe whatever game Johnson calls will be the game’s standout game. my picture. I just need him to get a playoff whistle machine – preferably one that takes a team home but beggars can’t be pickers – just a Gus-gasm as Tyrese Maxey, Zach Lavine or someone practice diving when the time runs out to get there “the sandals still fit,” Johnson — also, now that he’s playing NBA games on Turner, next year’s NCAA Men’s Tournament, let’s catch everyone. hands to do.
Because while Johnson made the cold Saturday afternoon match between Minnesota and Ohio State feel like the National Championships, imagine him calling in the Western Conference Finals, Phoenix Suns against Golden State Warriors – I know he didn’t get that assignment either, but people can only wish.