NBA analyst Hubie Brown excited to see Hornets

by Mel Bracht Modified: November 21, 2008 at 5:30 am •  Published: November 21, 2008
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Veteran NBA analyst Hubie Brown is looking forward to broadcasting the Hornets-Thunder game at 8:30 tonight on ESPN even though both teams have had disappointing starts.

The intrigue of the Hornets (5-5) returning to their home for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons will make it special.

"You love to see these contests in the league because of the 18,500 or so that is going to be there,” Brown said. "There is going to be a love affair with the visiting team, and rightfully so.”

Brown said he has become a fan of the Hornets and guard Chris Paul, picking them to finish second behind the Lakers in the Western Conference. He said Paul earned his vote for league MVP last season.

"I honestly thought that he made the game easier for the other four guys on the court,” he said. "I thought the bigger game, the better he played.”

Ironically, Kevin Calabro, the voice of the Seattle SuperSonics for 21 seasons, will do the play-by-play. Nancy Lieberman will be the sideline reporter.

Calabro also called the Thunder’s only other ESPN appearance, a preseason game against the Lakers. Since declining an offer to join the NBA team in Oklahoma City, Calabro has joined ESPN as an NBA broadcaster and has become the TV voice of the new Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer. He declined an interview request.

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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Hubie’s analysis
Here are a few of Hubie Brown’s comments on the Thunder (1-11) and the Hornets (5-5):

Thunder

I’ve been in a situation where I’ve had to turn around young teams. Anytime you are trying to turn a situation around, you have to have guys who can shoot the basketball. And right now, it’s not happening. ... Unfortunately for them, they have not had everyone night in and night out. I also feel the older guys who played last year — (Nick) Collison, (Chris) Wilcox, (Damien) Wilkins, the frontline guys who did something — are not playing as well as they did last year at this time. ... Now I know having (Robert) Swift back, they’re hoping that (Joe) Smith can be healthy enough that he can develop, and of all the centers, that two of them may give you some shot blocking, rebounding and some points. But as of right now, it hasn’t happened.

Hornets

Their frontline is playing nowhere close to what it did a year ago and it has to step up. It’s obvious when you lose your fifth and sixth scorers, meaning Bonzi Wells and (Jannero) Pargo, and not be able to duplicate that with consistent points, it’s going to hurt you. Now (James) Posey is playing extremely well and so is Chris Paul, but the rest of the people are not doing so on a consistent basis.

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