Question: How fun was it calling Game 4 of the Laker series, with Kevin Durant's tiebreaking 3-pointer with 13 seconds left?
Pinto: “The comeback came from nowhere, so all of a sudden the team is right in it. Looks like they have full momentum. When Kevin rose up and took that shot, the feeling you get inside is incredible exuberance. To see that team again show the composure and poise they did down the stretch, it's remarkable. I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to be courtside.”
Were you pleased with your call?
“Yeah, I was. I sort of gear myself for moments like that. I hope I'm on par with what is occurring on the floor. I have not listened back, honestly, but in the moment, it did what occurred justice, I felt like.”
What's your favorite call ever?
“The one that sticks out is when Alonzo Mourning hit the shot to beat Boston, when I was with Charlotte in Game 4 of the first round of the (1993) playoffs. I got stuck on automatic. ‘It's good! It's good! It's good!' About 16 times. I was on the Fan (radio) in New York City the next day, and they compared it to Bobby Thomson's home run ‘The Giants win the pennant.' So that was pretty funny. I don't know that any stick out more than that one. I like to stay in the moment as best I can. There are things sometimes I say that I don't even know until after the fact.”
Is the Thunder easy to call?
“A breeze, because they're so electrifying in terms of the plays they can make on any sequence, both Durant and Russell Westbrook and now James Harden, the way they're able to generate offense. Any team that plays somewhat up-tempo and can turn things around defensively with a blocked shot like Serge Ibaka does, or a steal like they're getting much better at, you're always on the edge of your seat. It's fun to call this team.”
The Thunder has wild momentum switches. Are you able to sense and thus convey the switch in momentum?
“The other night, the barrier was seven points. They had not been able to crack that. Once they cracked that, Grant Long and I touched on that on the air, they're in a different territory. In position to really put pressure on the Lakers now. So I think we conveyed that fairly well. Seemed like that was an invisible wall they couldn't crack. And once they did, it was a bit of a flood that overwhelmed the Lakers, looked like.”