Wizards Broadcaster Owns Missed "Dagger" Call, But Claims New Location Difficult
Wizards play-by-play announcer Steve Buckhantz on Thursday tried to explain his call at the end of Wednesday's Pistons-Wizards game when he mistakenly exclaimed "Dagger!" after it appeared to him that Wizards F Trevor Ariza hit a game-winning three-pointer, noting the broadcast crew sits in a "little different location this year than we have the last 15 years," according to Sarah Kogod of the WASHINGTON POST. Buckhantz appeared on ESPN Radio 980 DC Thursday, and he said, "We’re up in one of the sections, Section 110, so we are now pretty much ... across from the Wizards bench, about 20 rows up. So it’s a little different perspective for us." Kogod noted the Pistons broadcasters, who were located next to Buckhantz and analyst Phil Chenier, "also got the call wrong, so it’s not unreasonable to blame a bad angle here." Buckhantz "went on to talk about the positives and negatives of no longer being courtside." He said, "It helps in the sense that you’re elevated. When you’re on the court, you’re right down there. You’re low. So the positive is that you’re elevated. Where you’re at a disadvantage are certain angles, and also the disassociation with the game." Buckhantz added, "What I’m learning is, which I didn’t offer very much [Wednesday] night, is you have to try to be a little bit more patient, because there are times when you see something that you thought you saw but you didn’t see it." Kogod noted Buckhantz is "taking it in stride, and promises that this incident won’t make him shy with any future 'daggers'" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/28).
BINOCULARS NEEDED: ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, “You know why his angle is a bad angle? Because his owner, Ted Leonsis, who I like very much, sold the seats. So the broadcast seats are up where Bob Uecker used to sit in that commercial in the ‘70s and they can’t even see it.” There “better not be any complaints” from Leonsis, since he "put them there.” ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said the announcers “don’t need a seeing-eye dog,” because while “they’re bad seats, they ain’t that bad” (“PTI,” ESPN, 2/28). The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan said, “This is what happens when some little rich kid eating ice cream sits in the front row and the announcer has to sit 25 rows up and he can’t even see the game. This is what the NBA has brought you.” Meanwhile, ESPN’s Pablo Torre gave a “pass” to the announcers for their missed call on the last shot, saying, “I watched this three times and I couldn’t tell myself" (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 2/28). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said the missed call “would have happened to any of us” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 2/28). TNT’s Kenny Smith said, “He had to be looking at the monitor and not the game” (“Inside the NBA,” TNT, 3/1).