LIVE FROM MIAMI! — Sorry for the screaming. But it’s been a while since I’ve been to a potential series-clinching game. In the NBA. Involving the Hawks.
You know a playoff series is starting to get out of hand when camera crews go to a Hawks’ shoot-around and surround their radio play-by-play announcer. That’s what happened this morning, when broadcaster Steve Holman was encircled by Miami media members, as if, like, he was an escaped war criminal, or maybe had something to do with this pig flu.
If you haven’t heard by now, Holman was a little bit rough on the Heat’s Dwyane Wade in Game 5 Wednesday night at Philips Arena. Here’s a link to a nice audio/picture montage and another link to a recap in the Palm Beach Post.
I’ll wait here until you’re done listening, watching and reading. Then I’ll give you Holman’s side.
OK. So if you’ve ever heard Holman before, you know this bit is nothing new for him. He’s a homer. He’s proud of it. But apparently those with virgin ears in south Florida aren’t taking his verbal A-bombs very well.
Holman’s reaction: “It’s amazing. This poor old radio announcer has done these games for 24 years in mostly anonymity and the funny part of it is I’ve done the same thing for 24 years. I’ve had the same shtick. I learned from Johnny Most [the late Boston Celtics announcer]. He was my mentor. He taught me it’s the Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys, like in the cowboy movies. It’s all theater. It’s not brain surgery. I’m not operating on anybody’s tumor or performing quadruple bypasses on anyone. I’m trying to entertain our Hawks fans for 2 ½ hours so they can get away from 8 1/2 percent unemployment and GM going belly up, from Arlen Spector changing parties to the Swine Flu. People hear enough of that. I’d like to give them some enjoyment for a little while.”
For the record, that was Holman who put Arlen Spector and the Swine Flu in the same sentence. Please forward all political emails to him.
WADE SAYS HE’S HEALED: Sort of. After extended treatment and massage Friday morning, the Heat guard said, “I’m better today than I’ve been the last two days. That’s the main thing. I’m better today, I’ve got a smile on my face and I’m ready to go.”
Sorry. No rebuttal from Holman.
PRAISE FOR FLIP: Wade had some kind words for the Hawks’ Flip Murray, saying he has been the difference through six games. “When you go into a series you say someone has to be an X factor,” Wade said. “In our series, you say, ‘OK, Joe Johnson and Dwyane Wade. Let’s take those two out of it. Now let’s take these other guys off.’ Flip has been more of an X factor than our role players and off-the-bench players.’ He’s been the most consistent, and he’s the reason they’re up, 3-2.”
WADE’S PLAN: Will he start out trying to score or get teammates involved? He says he has no idea. And if he did, I imagine he wouldn’t say. “Sometimes it depends how teams are playing me. Sometimes it’s what the coach wants me to do, what the scheme is. Me having the ball in my hands a lot, I have the freedom to go off and take shots. Sometimes, I feel I have to come out and show teammates, ‘This is how I feel tonight.’”
MY PLAN: Live blogging from a night game on deadline while trying to work on a column isn’t an easy thing. But I’ll try to do some tonight, at least through the first half, and certainly respond to comments and questions. Thanks all.