Have we really sunk so low in marketing that ESPN was actually hyping that Dick Vitale was leaving the college ranks to announce one NBA game? Have we reached a point where ESPN personalities become more important to the game than the actual contest itself? Instead of hyping a contest between Denver and Miami or between Carmello Anthony and Dwayne Wade, ESPN hyped the announcing of Vitale. What a said state of affairs!
Needless to say, I did not watch the game as Vitale's schtick doesn't cut it for me. He shows a great passion for the college game but ESPN has turned him into a caricature. He has become a mere vessel for catchphrases like "awesome, baby" and "PTP-er." And every game he looks for ways to throw in the phrases for which he can accredit his fame.
ESPN has created a cast of characters to broadcast games. From Berman's "back, back, back" to Corso's "not so fast, my friend," ESPN has dumbed down their sporting news to the point that it is nearly intolerable. Unfortunately, decent reporters get lost in the mix at ESPN because they don't "draw a crowd."
Regardless, you know there's some amiss with the entire venture when a broadcasting personality is expected to draw a bigger crowd than the actual game itself. It's hard to tell whether it is truly an issue with the NBA or with ESPN. Either way, I would be quite offended if I were a Denver or Miami fan.