It seems there are fewer and fewer sports announcers I really dig these days, but Gus Johnson is definitely one of them. With that in mind, I got pretty excited to learn that for at least one night, he'll be the voice of the Pistons, subbing for George Blaha, who will be attending his other duties as Michigan State's play-by-play man as the Spartans play in the Champs Sports Bowl. (Johnson usually does radio for the Knicks, but fortunately New York is off.) From the Detroit News:
Broadcaster Gus Johnson has covered a lot of big events in nearly two decades -- Olympics, the NFL, NCAA Tournament, play-by-play for the Knicks.
Despite all that, Johnson says broadcasting tonight's Pacers-Pistons game (8, Channel 4) will top his career highlight list.
"I'm just a Detroit boy who grew up loving the Pistons, and now I get to come full-circle for one night," said Johnson, who grew up in the Livernois and Davison area. "I'm nervous, excited, it's getting me a little choked up, really."
I'll actually be at the Palace covering the game for HOOPSWORLD, but with Johnson on the mic, I'll also be recording the game to watch on Saturday. Not that I expect Pistons-Pacers to match UCLA-Gonzaga (watch for a young Arron Afflalo), but I'm really curious to hear him call his hometown team.