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George Blaha among the favorite announcers of NBA players

SportsIllustrated.com recently did a poll of 124 NBA players, asking them who their favorite NBA broadcasters were. Not surprisingly, Charles Barkley came in at No. 1 on the list even though he’s more a pundit than an announcer. But I think Pistons fans will like who came in at No. 14: our own George Blaha.

Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie wrote about each announcer on the list. Here were his thoughts on Blaha:

A legendary local NBA play-by-play man for the Detroit Pistons, Blaha calls a great game while setting up his partner (former Piston and Michigan State standout Greg Kelser) as great as local product Magic Johnson set up Kelser while they worked as Spartans. Blaha is a terrific listen, and the only local play-by-play man to show up on the list — a well-earned honor.

Blaha deserves the honor not only for his legendary calls during the Pistons’ peak years, but for his ability to maintain his positivity while watching a product that, let’s face it, has not been pretty to watch the last few seasons.


  • May 31, 20122:48 pm
    by Steve K


    Agreed. Blaha is a stellar play-by-play man.

    I remember years ago, when WDFN was doing one of their tournament of 64 games… and for this segment, it was tournament of 64 sports announcers. Blaha won.

    • Nov 7, 20128:23 pm
      by AJ


      You live on another planet. Their contracts must be based on not saying anything critical of this team. Has anyone been watching the Pistons? We’re losing by 20 and their saying how great these guys are. Let’s sit around and sing kumbaya….get some guts and be critical of the poor play!

  • May 31, 20125:13 pm
    by Desolation Row


    Count that baby and a foul!

  • May 31, 20127:55 pm
    by d_ronii


    fills it up and fills it in

  • Jun 1, 20121:03 am
    by Jack


    chauncy billups unmolested to the rim!!!

  • Jun 1, 20121:24 pm
    by Matt


    I know I’m probably in the minority here, but it really seems to me like Blaha has lost a step (or two). It seems like there have been lots of times when the Pistons are down by 17 late in the third and, after hitting a couple of shots, Blaha will try to convince us that the Pistons are right back in this (sometimes using those exact words). I’m not saying I want him to be a Debbie Downer (and Lord knows, this team has provided plenty of opportunites to be that way over the past few years), but it seems a tad insulting, like he’s trying to sell me a bill of goods.

    I really like Kelser because he’s quite objective (considering he’s doing Pistons broadcasts) and certainly has a good rapport with Blaha.

    One good thing about Blaha is you always get the idea that he really enjoys what he’s doing. That does go a long way with me. That and the fact that he is pretty objective as well. I lived out in New England for about 16 years and I couldn’t watch the Celtics games without muting them. Tommy Heinsohn is awful.

  • Jun 1, 20121:27 pm
    by Matt


    Also, the fact that Reggie Miller came in fourth pretty much invalidates the entire list. He’s not as bad as when he first started (when he somehow was able to refer to his playing career/style with almost every comment), but he’s still terrible.

    • Jun 2, 20122:40 pm
      by tarsier


      It’s not the best announcers, it’s the players’ favorite announcers. Obviously they will take more of a shining toward those who came from their own ranks.

  • Jun 1, 20124:30 pm
    by Desolation Row


    Yeah, the actual list is complete bullshit — how are Shaq and Reggie Miller ranked so high? Moreover, how is Shaq even ranked? I think Chris Webber should actually be towards the top — he’s interesting to listen to, did better than Shaq on halftime shows, and has surprisingly insightful and entertaining commentary. And if we’re going to include Mark Jackson there too, then he should be tied with JVG.

  • Nov 7, 20128:20 pm
    by AJ


    C’mon man, these two announcers are praising the Pistons when they are losing by 20. Have some guts and call it the way it is. This team is pitiful.

    • Nov 27, 20122:13 pm
      by EMan


      Feel free to bad mouth your own employer during work time. I’m sure they’d appreciate your input.

      I think for homers, they’re pretty fair. I specifically listen for that, and when the Pistons get away with something, they’ll mention it.

      What I like most about them is the respect they have for the game and the players, and that they speak about the positive basketball aspects about players on both sides of the ball (how many local announcers give “best something in the game” to opposing players?). Sure they overdo it sometimes, but I think it’s genuine, and that works for me. 

    • Nov 27, 20122:19 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      If you think Blaha and Kelser are homers, you don’t watch enough NBA TV/League Pass. Listen to Sean Elliott or Stacy King or a handful of others call a game, and Blaha/Kelser will sound like the most fair announcers working.

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