Monday, July 27, 2015

Jim Nantz working as an NBA analyst in the 1980s

Before getting his shot at the network level, Jim Nantz worked as the analyst on Utah Jazz local telecasts for a few seasons. His play-by-play partner on those games was Hot Rod Hundley.

Here is a Jazz game from March 1985 called by this tandem. The game against the Chicago Bulls was televised by KSL-TV in Salt Lake City as part of a radio simulcast. Considering that he has been one of the preeminent play-by-play voices for the past few decades, I found it intriguing to hear a young Nantz as an analyst (essentially filling the old-fashioned color commentator role).

A season later, Nantz was serving as a play-by-play announcer on some regional NBA playoff telecasts on CBS.


  1. Thanks for posting that. That is really interesting, especially considering that the ex-player was doing the play-by-play. Two things:

    1. Remember that we don't really see ex-players doing much color on radio or television broadcasts until the 1950s. Before then, the main pbp guys would have "color" commentators pop in, but not do too much.

    2. I wonder how many other examples there are of this. I can think of when DeWayne Staats came to the Cubs in 1985, Steve Stone did the play-by-play of the middle three innings and Staats did the color, at least for a while until the audience became more familiar with Staats.

  2. Usually in local teams baseball coverage, the pxp and analyst would often alternate roles during the course of the game.