Final Analysis

Sometimes we just need to be reminded of things. Sunday’s big win over the Evil Empire was a reminder that the Suns didn’t, in fact, forget how to play like a championship caliber team.

 

Eddie Johnson is able to give expert analysis during games because of his skill in shooting when he played. (NBAE Photos)

And perhaps a reminder that we all should have listened to Mike D’Antoni, Steve Kerr – even Shaq himself – when they said there would be some adjustments necessary to fully incorporate the Big Cactus.

I had another reminder a few nights ago as we began the 4th quarter of a home game against the 76ers. During the preceding timeout the Gorilla squad had inadvertently ripped the net off one of the hoops. There was a short delay as U.S. Airways Center engineers quickly replaced the net. Eddie Johnson immediately told Gary Bender and all the viewers watching FSN Arizona that he hated when a net had to be replaced during a game. Since the net would take a little while to get stretched out to its usual size, EJ said that the rim always looked smaller and it became a psychological detriment to any shooters on the floor. Phoenix went scoreless for the first 3 minutes and made a total of 3 FGs over the first 9 minutes of the quarter. Who else but a shooter (and were there any better?) would offer that nugget of insight? It was another example of the expert analysis Suns fans receive every night from the duo of Eddie Johnson and Dan Majerle.

Having worked in sports television for over 18 years, I’ve crossed paths with countless announcers. One thing I’ve noticed over that time is that you can learn a lot about someone by how their peers react toward them. I call it the RQ – Respect Quotient. Wherever Dan and EJ go with the Suns, they are universally respected for their knowledge of the game, the tenacious style they both brought to the court and, yes, even the fact that they are really genuine human beings. The only analyst I’ve worked with that comes close to the RQ of Dan and EJ is former Chicago Bears defensive back Doug Plank. His goes beyond respect, though. I think guys that played against Doug still avoid him as if they think he might drop them in the lobby of a hotel or stadium press box. [Read more...]

Land of the Giants

Nearly a week after the most dominant big man in NBA history moved to Phoenix, every journalist, fan, analyst, GM, coach and blogger has pontificated on the ups and downs of the deal. The shotgun blasts of opinion have riddled the Internet – and everyone (of course) is dealing in absolutes. The overwhelming sentiment is a combination of the following:

  • Shaq has nothing left in the tank
  • The Suns gave up too much (Shawn Marion)
  • This officially marks the end of the Suns trademark run & gun offense
  • Phoenix has mortgaged its future for one last, desperate attempt at a title

People much smarter than I have addressed all of these points, but think about trade in the context of this question:

Before the Shaq trade, did you feel confident the Suns would win the 2008 NBA Championship? I know you HOPED they would win, and justifiably felt that they could have at least one Larry O’Brien trophy if not for a couple of unfortunate injuries and suspensions the last 3 seasons. But did you know this year would be different?

I think GM Steve Kerr presented it well by saying that he felt the Suns had a “punchers chance” of winning the title this year. If the matchups fell just right and our team got really hot at the right time, everything could fall into place.

After watching Shaq practice on Monday, I told Mike D’Antoni I wished I could be as out-of-shape as Shaq. 320 pounds, 11% body fat – are you kidding me? As a life-long Suns fan, it was almost surreal to see a true big man with Suns gear on. No disrespect to the centers that have graced our franchise through the years, but none was as big or dominant as Shaq. Amaré looks like a 5th grader standing next to him.

The truth is, none of us know how the remainder of the season will play out. Sports compel us for many reasons, but one of the biggest is its unpredictability. At what point do you think New York Giants fans thought that this was their championship season? About 7:00 last Sunday night when the clock hit zero? Before the season even began, their All-Pro running back (Tiki Barber) retired, questioning the leadership abilities of both the head coach and quarterback on his way out the door. They began 0-2 and lost one of their best offensive players (Jeremy Shockey) to injury. They faced seemingly insurmountable odds in the playoffs – they couldn’t possibly win at Dallas AND at Green Bay, could they? Even then, Super Bowl 42 seemed to be merely a coronation to the Patriots’ perfect season. Even when New York regained the lead in the 4th quarter – hadn’t we seen this movie before? Didn’t you just KNOW Brady would lead the Pats down the field for a game-winning TD? But sports isn’t scripted, it’s the ultimate reality TV.

So the Giants pulled the big upset, and now the Suns’ giant hopes to do the same.

Winter Wonderland

<“Let every man shovel out his own snow and the whole city will be passable.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

One reason to live in Arizona: You don’t have to shovel snow!

When my family moved from Chicago to Phoenix back in the early 70s, my dad cited a lot of reasons for our pilgrimage west, but weather was at the top of the list. Any time a family member from back east would visit us in the summer months and complain about the heat, he would say “but you don’t have to shovel it!” In the midst of another January on the road with the Suns – this trip through the frozen tundra of Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Chicago – I am ever grateful that I didn’t have to be subjected to more of this growing up. Which begs the question: who, if they really have a choice, lives in this bitter cold?

Certain cold cities have a charm about them that can offset the bad weather. Chicago is a fantastic city with something for everyone: great museums, sports, nightlife, beaches, parks, etc. Minneapolis is a real gem, a melting pot of cultures and beautiful architecture – and one of the best local music scenes in the country. New York has a tangible energy and almost a life of it’s own. I can see why people are drawn to Manhattan – I wouldn’t want to live there, but I can understand the attraction. Toronto is another great cold weather NBA stop – and certainly the cleanest big city I’ve ever been to. I think there’s a provincial ordinance that mandates the cleanliness of pigeons. Denver has more going on in and around the downtown area than most cities – not to mention some of the world’s best skiing during winter months. [Read more...]

Back to the Future – Behind the scenes of the Suns' 40th anniversary broadcast

The Suns rolled back the clock when they hosted the Sonics on Jan. 3.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE Photos)

The game was chosen in large part because the Suns’ first-ever game was a 116-107 win over Seattle back in October of 1968. If you watched the game on MY 45, you might have been wondering what happened to your television.

Although the idea of a “retro” broadcast is hardly new (we did one against Milwaukee five years ago in celebration of our 35th anniversary season), this was the first one done in the age of high definition. Viewers got to experience a history lesson of sorts through a few distinct eras of sports television. By the time halftime rolled around and you had been watching the first quarter in grainy black and white and the second quarter with not-so-sharp color images and obnoxiously big graphics, your new HD set looked even better. Here is how the broadcast played out from behind the scenes, era by era.

Game open / First Quarter– There was a short “tease” segment in which Tom Leander’s voice explained the course the broadcast would be taking over some great old highlights from the Madhouse on McDowell. David Hughes, who produced the broadcast with me, did a fantastic job of putting together this piece. The shots of Dick Van Arsdale, Connie Hawkins, Alvan Adams and Cotton Fitzsimmons brought back a flood of memories. [Read more...]

Glory Road – TV Life on the NBA Road

In case you were wondering about the glorious life of NBA travel, here’s a 2-day timeline for December 4 & 5:

Steve Nash had 18 assists when he visited his home country of Canada. 

(NBAE Photos)

Indianapolis, Indiana
8:00am – wake up, surf the usual hoops related sites (HoopsHype, ESPN.com, azcentral.com, usatoday.com) and rifle through recent press clippings and game notes for the Suns / Pacers game tonight.

9:30am – call Tom Leander to discuss our pregame topics for the broadcast. As I indicated in my blog entry from Nov. 20th – live sports is completely unpredictable and we plan only the first 10 minutes of the show. The rest is up to the players and coaches with the TV crew doing our best to stay on top of everything as it unfolds.

10:00am – finish research and note prep for the game and get ready for the day.

11:30am – hop a cab with Tom and Dan Siekmann (Suns director of broadcasting) to grab a quick, greasy bite at White Castle. I’m not much of a fast food guy, but having visited my family in Chicago so much growing up, I can’t pass up a chance for a bag of Sliders. Anyone from the Midwest knows my weakness. As well as In and Out Burger has done since opening up locations in Phoenix, I have seriously thought about trying to acquire a White Castle franchise for the Valley. With all the Chicago transplants, how could it not be a license to print money? I’m keeping it as a back up plan in case this TV thing doesn’t work out.

12:40pm – check out of the hotel, load up our equipment and hop a cab to Conseco Fieldhouse. This is the coolest looking arena in the NBA – inside and out. The design fits the name, with red brick and green steel construction giving it the feel of a Midwest fieldhouse even when it has 18,000 rabid Indy fans screaming for their Pacers. It is a perfect match for the capital city of a state that has had a love affair with the game of basketball (at every level) for over a century. Their PA announcer begins the introductions by saying something like “In 49 states it’s just a game, but this is Indiana!”

1:00pm – crew arrives at the arena and we begin setting up all of our equipment, computer networks, etc. that will make our broadcast look as good as it did in NY two nights before. We hire a local crew and TV truck from which to work in each city and we spend the next 3 hours or so teaching them the things that are unique to a Suns broadcast (music, graphics, video tape elements) and a little about our team and the storylines we’ll be watching for.

4:30pm – after building graphics and editing highlight packages for the last 3 hours, time for dinner in the Pacers’ media lounge: chicken, mac ‘n cheese, mashed potatoes and salad on the docket tonight. Not too bad as free food goes.

5:30pm – return to the TV truck, finish editing tonight’s tease (first thing you see at the top of the broadcast – tonight it’s about the Suns being dominant against the Eastern Conference, Grant Hill’s big night in NY and Jim O’Brien taking over as coach of the Pacers)

6:00pm – confirm our transmission lines with Phoenix and check in with the studio pregame show, Suns Gametime. Tom gets seated and all the announcers talk back and forth to make sure everyone can hear everybody else.

6:30pm – on the air in Phoenix, Tom stands by to be part of the first segment of Gametime. Dan Majerle will follow in segment 2.

7:00pm – We’re on the air live from Indianapolis! The workday that began about 11 hours earlier now reaches its peak.

9:13pm – Steve Nash hits a 3 that buries the Pacers. I’d say it was an amazing shot, but I run out of ways to describe what Nash does. It would be amazing if I hadn’t already seen him do it about 20 times in the last 3 plus seasons.

10:00pm – after a post-game interview with a happy Amaré Stoudemire, we pack up all the equipment that we set up just a few hours earlier, move it to the team bus and load up for the airport.

10:30pm – head through security where all our carry-on bags are checked and we are wanded (do they think we’re going to sabotage our own plane?) Tonight we are heading to Toronto, so the security is pretty tight since it will be an international flight. On the plane we’ll be given customs declarations paperwork to fill out and need to show our passports upon landing at the Toronto airport.

12:00am – after waiting on the ground (not sure why) and watching the snow come down, the plane is de-iced and we take off for Canada.

1:30am – touchdown in Toronto, Ontario. It’s not snowing but it has been recently. The airport is in the middle of nowhere, about 45 minutes from downtown. By the time we arrive and I get my bags up to my room, it’s almost 3:00am.

9:30am – alarm clock rings and I fight the urge to throw it across the room. It can’t be morning already. I stay in bed until about 10:00 trying to get motivated to do something and questioning my choice of career. Selling insurance suddenly doesn’t sound too bad.

11:00am – call Tom (didn’t I just do this?) to confirm the topics for tonight’s broadcast that we talked about on the plane last night. It’s always interesting when we come up to Toronto because Nash is such an icon here. He is referred to as CanJe – or Canadian Jesus – because of his cult following in the great white north. As I crack open the Globe and Mail, it occurs to me that this is the first time we’ve been here that Steve Nash’s face wasn’t plastered all over the newspaper. I guess it’s human nature to get used to things or take them for granted.

12:40pm – check out of hotel, load up gear into our cab and head for the Air Canada Centre. Not as cool as Conseco Fieldhouse, but it has its own charm. It’s a HUGE building and seems to work well for either hockey or basketball – a rarity for multi-purpose arenas.

1:00pm – meet with crew and truck personnel. Toronto is one of my favorite cities to broadcast out of. People are highly qualified, hard working and have great attitudes, and the equipment is fantastic as well.

4:30pm – more media room food after another afternoon of editing and general pre-production (what we do before we go on the air). Pasta tonight – again, not bad. Sometimes you just want to eat.

5:30pm – brief meeting with Leo Rautins, the Raptors announcer who will be part of our analyst swap tonight. Leo played on some pretty good Syracuse teams in the early 80s before a journeyman professional career. He’ll give some good insight into the Raptors rebuilding process and some keen insight on Nash – his good friend. Rautins is the coach of the Canadian National team and is heavily recruiting Nash to play for team Canada. More on that during the broadcast.

6:15pm – after some minor transmission problems, we connect with Phoenix and all the announcers (Kevin Ray, Tom Chambers, Tom Leander) get the chance to talk a little before Suns Gametime.

7:40pm – Rautins joins our broadcast in the trade for Majerle. This trade has become one of my favorite parts of our broadcast. As much as we don’t like to give up Majerle or EJ, Rautins brought great perspective and stories. He spoke of his (and Samuel Dalembert’s) recruitment of Nash to play for team Canada one last time and how watching LB drain 3’s from everywhere gave him flashbacks of team Brazil’s win over Canada this summer. He also interrupted himself mid-sentence to fawn over a power jam by Amaré – “I love how that guy plays!”

10:15pm – a 45-point 3rd quarter opens the floodgates and ends the Raptors’ night. We board the bus and head to Toronto airport to go through customs and hop our flight to the nation’s capital.

11:40pm – flight leaves Toronto. The fellas seem in a particularly good mood tonight. The card game is louder than usual and the table is full. Everyone seems satisfied with having started the road trip 3-0. Mike D’Antoni has stressed to his team since training camp that winning a championship is a process that should be enjoyed, not a destination to be sought. It’s nice to see the players heeding that advice – they really seemed to have fun tonight.

12:40am – we land at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC, wearily climb aboard the bus for another one of the longer rides from airport to hotel. I can barely keep my eyes open.

1:45am – arrive at the hotel. We stay in Georgetown, just a mile and a half from the White House. Still can’t think of anything but hitting the rack. No game tomorrow (thank God!) so I’ll catch up on sleep and start the whole process over with games against the Wizards on Friday and the Timberwolves on Saturday.

Long days, short nights – those of us who televise sporting events are used to it. And I don’t know any other group of people that enjoy their careers as much as we do. See you on TV.

Eight Was Great – But the Best is Still Ahead

The offseason of 2001 was a big one for the Suns. Jason Kidd was traded to New Jersey in exchange for the talented but troubled Stephon Marbury, Dan Majerle returned to finish his playing career where it began and the franchise hired a new television producer.

Joe Crispin taught Bob Adlhoch that sometimes losses like Monday’s just happen. 

(NBAE Photos)

OK, maybe that last one wasn’t so big for the Suns, but it was a pretty big deal to me. After covering the NBA and the Suns in a variety of roles for 10 years, I became a team employee and began living life on the NBA road.

That 2001-‘02 season was memorable for very few things – mostly losses and the dismissal of coach Scott Skiles. After one particularly bad road loss, I boarded the team bus and was greeted by the smiling face of Joe Crispin. You have to be a die-hard fan to remember Joe – a 6-foot combo guard (euphemism for a short guy who can shoot but isn’t quick enough to cover other point guards) from Penn State. As we talked on the way to the airport, I asked him how he managed to be in such a good mood in the midst of a season gone wrong. “Bob,” he said, “I learned a long time ago not to tie my happiness to the outcome of basketball games.” This thought had never occurred to me – not bummed out after a loss? Some might argue that’s why Joe isn’t in the league anymore, but I learned a good lesson that night that has been affirmed by Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni many years later. An 82-game season is a LONG time. You can’t get too high after wins or too low after losses. It’s too easy as fans, coaches, broadcasters and players to fixate on one game. After a great win you feel invincible, after a bad loss like you may never win again.

Phoenix rode an 8-game win streak into Oakland on Monday night, only to be out-run and out-gunned by a smaller, quicker, (and on this night) better shooting team. On the same night, San Antonio lost to the same Sacramento team the Suns hung 80 first-half points on 5 days ago, Dallas lost at home to a Gilbert Arenas-less Washington Wizards and the post-KG Timberwolves upset the red-hot Hornets.

The point of all this is that these things happen. The Suns played well enough Monday to win most games against most teams. And as I’ve written before – you wouldn’t know on the plane ride home from Oakland that an 8-game win streak had been halted tonight. While the players relax, the coaches begin planning for the invasion of T-Mac and Yao on Wednesday night (6:30 PM, MY 45 HD) and Dwight Howard and the Magic on Friday. The season’s too long to do anything else.

And one more fact to pass along about this team and what lies ahead. At 11-3, the Suns are off to one of their best starts in franchise history – but you knew that. What you might not know is that over the last 3 seasons, the Suns’ record after December 1st has been 149-56 (.727). Let’s enjoy the ride.

One last story about Joe Crispin and the Warriors: we were in the Bay Area for a game and Joe attended a college game the night before at Stanford. He was down near the court just before halftime and someone in the athletic department asked him if he wanted to be that night’s contestant in the half-court shot. He politely declined, saying it wouldn’t be fair for a professional to take the shot, but was talked into it by his buddies. He promptly drained the shot in front of a sold out arena (not like he hadn’t hit a big shot or two in his life) and won an autographed Michael Jordan jersey for his effort. Nice parting gift.

Trading Places

Robert Frost once wrote “I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.”

Just like the movie, the Suns will trade places with the Kings in back-to-back games starting Tuesday night. 

(NBAE Photos)

While I certainly draw no comparisons between Frost’s great works (Google The Road Less Traveled if his name is new to you) and the television broadcasts I produce or direct, I feel the same way about each game. The first 10 minutes of each broadcast is pretty much scripted. When I meet with the announcers and other production team members each morning, we talk about what topics to cover at the top of the show. In tonight’s game against Sacramento (8:00 pm, FSN AZ), we will:

  • recap the Suns offensive explosion at Houston
  • look at Grant Hill and his assimilation into the Suns’ fast style of play
  • highlight Brian Skinnner’s defensive prowess of late
  • give you a look at young Sacramento shooting guard Kevin Martin who is 2nd in the NBA in scoring

Once the referee tosses the ball up at 8:10, not one person in the building or watching at home has any idea what will happen. What will the storylines be? Who will carry the scoring load? Will Steve Nash dish out another 15 assists for the 3rd straight game? As Frost said, it is truly discovering.

One thing we discovered last season is how much we enjoyed swapping analysts from other teams with Eddie Johnson and Dan Majerle. Our Saturday broadcast from Houston was our first opportunity this year to make our trade. As Tom Leander wrote on his blog last season, the idea to trade announcers is one that had been used in baseball from time to time over the years but was new to hoops. When I started asking other producers around the NBA if they would be interested in participating in a “trading places” scenario with us prior to last season, many were uncertain how it would work. By December, teams were contacting me to ask if we would like to make the announcer trades when we came to play them.

Houston’s Matt Bullard was this year’s first trade – Dan Majerle for Matt Bullard would never get the commissioner’s blessing when they were players – but Matt was fantastic in his 2 segments with Tom Leander. He gave us some great insight into the changes implemented by new coach Rick Adelman, the expectations mounting with year 4 of Yao and T-Mac together in Houston (and still no playoff series wins) and the return of Steve Francis to his all-star roots. He also had some great observations on the Suns – a fresh perspective on Nash, Stat, Trix and the fellas – not to mention his excitement in watching Eric Piatkowski drain a couple of threes.

It’s something we’ll continue to do this year. The first 2 segments of the 2nd quarter is our usual spot. We have already brokered deals for Jerry Reynolds (Eddie Johnson’s former coach) on Wednesday night when the Kings come to Phoenix and hall of famer Walt Frazier when we get to New York on December 2nd. Walt was the MVP of the first NBA All-Star game in Phoenix in 1975, so he should have some good memories to share of that game as we discuss the 2009 game that Phoenix will host.

And an update on LB and his 80s movies – he loved Trading Places (big thumbs up, man!), so now I have to rifle through my DVD collection to see what should come next. I think I might steer him through the John Hughes collection (Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, Ferris Buhler’s Day Off) but I’m open to suggestions.

One final note – please leave your feedback below. Although all of us in the broadcast department work very diligently to put together entertaining broadcasts, we don’t do it in a vacuum. If you have ideas to share, please do so.

Let the discovering begin!

Where Amazing Happens

The NBA has a new marketing campaign this season (in case you’ve missed one of the many commercials that air during game broadcasts) – “where amazing happens.” The whole idea of an ad campaign like this is to get you to notice.

Shawn Marion outrebounded both O’Neal and Mourning in Miami on Friday. 

(NBAE Photos)

Maybe even give you a fresh perspective on something that you’ve been acquainted with for some time. As the Suns return home from a successful 3-1 Eastern Conference road trip, here are a few reminders that this team you’ve come to love, and probably take for granted sometimes, is truly amazing:

  • Steve Nash scoring 11 straight points down the stretch in Miami on Friday night, turning a 5-point deficit into a 6-point lead the Suns would never give back. If it’s possible to be a 2-time MVP and be underrated, Nash is just that. After all the huge shots he’s hit in the past few years (last season’s amazing double OT win in New Jersey when Steve hit the tying 3 pointer when everyone in the Tri-State area KNEW he was going to take the shot and while heavily guarded by one of the best defensive players of the last 20 years comes to mind), how can the Heat not guard him? They went under screens and left him with open jumpers twice in that stretch. Who’s scouting report are they reading? He’s shooting 50% from behind the ARC!
  • Shawn Marion’s performance that same night. He shared the floor with 2 first-ballot Hall-of-Fame centers in Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning and outrebounded them 24 to 14. Matrix is 6’7” in shoes and weighs about as much as Shaq’s left leg, but continues to prove that rebounding is all about desire – which he has in abundance. Did I mention he added 17 points and 5 steals against the Heat?
  • Leandro Barbosa’s career-high 39-point effort Saturday night at Orlando. A last-minute starter due to Raja Bell’s ankle injury (thanks, Shaq), LB showed off a Magic touch from the outside. When that shot is falling, guarding him is like being in one of those gruesome predicaments in SAW. Give him space to get off the shot or take away the shot and watch him blur by you for a layup. It’s your choice, but either way, you’re dead.
  • Grant Hill’s comeback. I know it’s early and he’s had some struggles with his shot (Eddie Johnson assures me that the shot will come as Grant gets more accustomed to playing at this pace), but this is a guy who missed almost 400 games and has had countless ankle surgeries. He played – and played well if not spectacularly – 4 games in 5 nights and looked as good Saturday in Orlando as he did on game one of the trip. He’s so smart on both ends of the floor and there is nothing he CAN’T do.
  • Amare’s ability to foul both Shaq and Dwight Howard with his face – now that IS amazing.


And we know Where Amazing Happens – right here on Planet Orange.

Two sidenotes:

The flight home was pretty subdued. The usual card game, a few movie watchers (LB is hooked on 80s movies – I’m bringing Trading Places for him to Houston next weekend) and a lot of sleepers (4 hour, 20 minute trip.) People always ask about the mood of the plane and are usually surprised to hear me say it’s hard to tell if we won or lost just by the body language on the plane. This group of professionals doesn’t get too high or too low – just a group of guys on a business trip. Not to say there wasn’t a little excitement after that game in Jersey!

I promise not to use the word “happens” in any more blog titles this year. I swear.

HD Happens

Soon after the Playoff run of 202007 had wrapped up with a disappointing loss in San Antonio, Suns president Rick Welts had an announcement for the broadcast department.

Now you can see all the Suns games in HD. 

(NBAE Photos)

As one who has been on the cutting edge for most of his career (creation of NBA all-star weekend is just one example on a long list), and with all of the Suns home games already sold out for this season, we were not surprised when Rick informed us that the Suns would be the first NBA team to produce all of its local broadcasts in high definition (HD). We were all excited at this opportunity and what it would mean to our viewers – extraordinarily sharp pictures and graphics.� Honestly, this is the biggest transformation in television since we moved from black and white to color.

Selfishly, I knew it meant I would get some of the very best equipment to work with in producing these broadcasts. Since we hire production facilities and technical crews in each city from which we broadcast, I’ve worked in some pretty shaky places with equipment that had seen better days. (Imagine going to work each day to a new office with new equipment and an entirely different set of co-workers.) Since HD technology is fairly recent, all of the TV production trucks I would see this year would be state of the art (or close).

I also knew there was a lot of work ahead. The high definition format we use has 6 times the resolution of your standard definition TV you’ve been used to. All of our graphics, animations and edited videotape packages needed to be redesigned and made better, sharper, clearer.

That was June. As I write this, on the Suns charter flight between Charlotte and Atlanta, we have finished our very first HD broadcast on MY45. The first two local broadcast of the season were also in HD on our broadcast partner FSN Arizona. But unlike the FSN broadcasts, where the Fox network graphics design group produces all of the tape and graphic elements of the broadcast, we do all our own work on the MY45 shows.

We’ve done 10 or so HD broadcasts on FSN in each of the last few seasons – but all from the comfort of our home at US Airways Center and with the power of the nation’s largest regional sports network behind us. This was our first on MY45 and first on the road. It certainly wasn’t without its challenges and even a few rough spots on the air, but it was a tremendous step in bringing Suns fans the best TV coverage possible. And with 8 Suns players scoring in double figures in a 32-point win – it’s hard to complain about anything that happened in Charlotte.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience an NBA game in HD, I urge you to call a friend that has an HD set at their house or head out to a restaurant that shows one of our upcoming broadcasts in HD. Wednesday’s broadcast in Atlanta is followed by Friday and Saturday games in Miami and Orlando. Check it out – and let us know what you think.

See you on TV.