I just stumbled onto this awesome video of the late, great Boston Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most absolutely laying waste to the Detroit Pistons. My personal fave: "OH, THE YELLOW, GUTLESS WAY THEY DO THINGS HERE!" Barack Obama's first act as Leader of the Free World should be to pass a law which states that every dictionary in every country on this planet and any other from now until the end of time should have a picture of Most next to the word "homer." And if some foreign dictionary doesn't have the word "homer," it should be added along with a picture of Johnny. Anyway, here's the footage:


Most's hatred wasn't limited to the Pistons. He enjoyed railing on any and every Celtic opponent, particularly the Lakers: He called Kareem Abdul-Jabbar "Kareem Puff," referred to Magic as "Crybaby Johnson" and described Kurt Rambis as "something that had crawled out of a sewer." He also nicknamed Washington Bullets players Rick Mahorn and Jeff Ruland "McFilthy" and "McNasty" and dubbed Isiah Thomas "Little Lord Fauntleroy." Moreover, Most liked to project his feelings onto the Celtic coaches and players (Johnny often claimed that the always-calm K.C. Jones was "furious" over this or that call) while depicting standard fouls as "bloodbaths" or "vicious muggings." And people today complain about Tommy Heinsohn.

Here's some more Johnny. And a little more. And, for the sake of comparison, some Tommy.

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23 Comments:
Anonymous plonden said...
Comment unrelated to this article but still very noteworthy. The "dreaded trillion" was mentioned during Oklahoma City's broadcast versus the Suns last night. I believe it was in reference to Robert Swift and the fact that he got a board or something to avoid a trillion.

Bawful is making the big time now.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Some dude on raptorsrepublic left this pic in the comments. I know how much u enjoy nba man love pics. So hereitis...

http://tinyurl.com/7sk3fn

Blogger Bryan said...
When you say Tracy McGrady played like it was a first round playoff game you are way off base. He has traditionally played extremely well in the playoffs. Insteady, he played like Tracy McGrady in a December game against a crappy team.

Blogger Nate Jones said...
Man, I miss the good old days of announcers like this. Hearn and Most were both very special dudes.

Anonymous Nick F. (Buck Nasty) said...
I know T-Mac has been playing so poorly that he doesnt even deserve a word but how about this:

Due to T-Mac's constant let downs in the fourth quarter, how about we call it a T-Mac Special (something along those lines) when a guy (supposed superstart?) is a team's leading scorer for the game, and then has one of those usual T-Mac lines in the fourth quarter. You know: 3 points, 2 turnovers, a rebound. Something like that.

Anonymous Jwoey said...
I agree with Most about the Pistons, but I'm also the type to hate this kind of commentary. Those kinds of comments should be left to the fans in their living rooms and in the stands, not the broadcasters. Bawful said it right... and I thought Heinsohn was bad.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
While people do complain a lot about Tommy Heinsohn's legendary homerism, it might be with better reason, even in light of this evidence you've provided. After all, Most was never hired by the network covering all of the NBA games to do their announcing like Heinsohn was by CBS in the 80s. It's one thing to be a homer on the local broadcast, it's another to be a homer on the national broadcast which is theoretically supposed to be neutral.

But back to Most, didn't he supposedly smoke four packs of cigarettes a day and drink coffee like it was water to get his voice like that?

Blogger Ian said...
I still think that Bill Simmons should be the one whose name would be next to "homer" in the dictionary. Granted he isn't as intense as Johnny but he's been servicing Garnett since he got to Boston.

Blogger Moose said...
Long live Johnny Most. Forever in our hearts. R.I.P. to the man who haunted the original garden for so many years.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
plonden -- The trillion. It spreads. But the real thanks are owed to the trillion creator, Scott Hastings.

Anonymous -- AWESOME. Thank you.

Bryan -- I'm sorry. You have a point. Allow me to correct myself. I should have said: "McGrady played like it was the FOURTH QUARTER of a first round playoff game." Better?

Nate Jones -- I agree, totally. Although Chick, while a homer for sure, had a much better grasp on reality than Mr. Most. But still, that kind of novel (though rampant) homerism just seems like part of a bygone era were the love and passion for the sport was more pure...and a little less sane. Which, honestly, I think is cool. I kinda hate being rational about the NBA.

Buck Nasty -- I like the concept. If I can come up with a really cool word/phrase, I'll go with it. Although I might wait for the Rockets' inevitable first round flameout later this season.

Jwoey -- I both agree and disagree. It's kind of like how me and my friends think back wistfully on, say, the way our parents would wack us on the ass with a belt when we were bad growing up, but we'd never seriously suggest beating kids in today's day and age. You know? Most was part of a different era. Obviously, fans outside of Boston hated him, but for Celtics fans, he had some serious charisma.

Wild Yams -- Well, in all fairness, Tommy has done most of his homery-est work doing local broadcasts for the Celtics. He stayed relatively mpartial when he was working for CBS in the 80s. Although he would occasionally let out a zinger or bust a little nutty. He was almost like a homer bomb that was tick, tick, ticking...

Johnny did indeed abuse his vocal chords with coffee and cancer sticks, but I think it was more because he was addiced to the caffeine and nicotine than a desire to create a voice that sounded like he gargled with sandpaper. I once read a story about how Johnny would always obstinately smoke in non-smoking rooms on Celtic road trips and Bird would call his room pretending to be hotel management and claim that they had seen Johnny smoking using hidden cameras, which would cause Johnny to go berserk.

As a sad aside, Johnny died of a heart attack that was probably a result of his emphysema which itself was a result of his many years of smoking. He was so addicted to ciggy's that he continued to smoke while on oxygen and once badly burned himself.

moose -- Amen, brother.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful/Buck Nasty: T-MacMuffin? Chicken T-Macnugget? Arch Deluxe? :p

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful, Chick Hearn would be rolling over in his grave to hear himself called a homer. Hearn had a reputation for being decidedly non-homerish (un-homerish?). Here's a couple links to writeups after his death which point this out specifically:

CNNSI.com:Hearn wasn’t a homer, though. He tended to call it like he saw it, right?

Sports Illustrated senior writer Phil Taylor: That’s why people didn’t just love him, they respected him. He wasn’t like Harry Caray in baseball, who would say only positive things about his team. Chick was very much a fan; he wanted the Lakers to win. But like any Laker fan, when they screwed up, it made him mad and he would tell people about it. In one game, he said something like, "Ninety-nine percent of the time, Robert Horry is a great defensive player. Tonight we’re seeing that other one percent." He wasn’t afraid to say that Shaq was being lazy about getting back on defense. Listening to him was like listening to a knowledgeable fan.

Salon.com:Though he clearly loved the Lakers, he wasn't a homer -- a requirement in L.A., where a good part of the audience for any sporting event has moved from other cities, where their sports loyalties remain. For a while he had the title of assistant general manager, and you could tell a player was on the outs when Hearn harped on his shortcomings.

Anonymous Aram said...
here you go 'bawful.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Avt3dBSE4dtmFJNybYpHdza8vLYF?slug=ap-rockets-mutombo&prov=ap&type=lgns

and a little trivia too..

he's real name is Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo

Blogger Jonny said...
I don't know how this got overlooked earlier, but I thought this should be seen by the world

Odom and Ariza sharing a pretty gay moment when they were both (!!) swinging on the rim against the Warriors on Sunday

http://www.lakersmedia.com/video/index.php?p=641

starting around the 1:04 mark

Blogger lordhenry said...
I actually miss this kind of commentary myself. You felt the announcers were INTO THE GAME, instead of talking about whether marc jackson is going to be a coach next season.

Lord Mamba glares at Gasol for his weak "Evil Laugh" attempt. "Lord Vega, it would be wise to practice the evil laugh in private, at least until perfected," says Lord Mamba. "What if Basketbawful saw that?!" We would be in the worst of the night for sure!" The Sith Lord then gets up, grabbing a vial of T-mac's syndrome. "Where are you going my lord?" Asks Gasol. "I'm going to inject some of this sh*t into Radmonivic," Mamba replies. "I want to see what happens when I inject it into something that already sucks!"

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Wild Yams -- While I totally agree with the commentary you provided about Chick and fully admit he wasn't a homer in the "insane ramblings of Johnny Most" kind of way, he still had his fare share of homer moments over the years.

Here's a perfect example. If you can, go back and watch Game 5 of the Western Conference Semis, Suns-Lakers. Now, Magic had just been named MVP in what was at the time one of the most controversial namings in NBA history. Charles Barkley had received 38 first place votes to Magic's 27, but Magic winning 636 to 614 due to his second and third place votes. Now, if you go back and look at the teams, it's obvious that Barkley carried an absolutely terrible team. He deserved MVP, but Magic got it. Chick, for his part, seemed really upset that so many people thought Magic won just because he's Magic.

So let me set the stage for you. The Lakers were down 3-1 and facing elimination. For whatever reason, Magic decided that he was going to score instead of set his teammates up. And he ended up tying his career playoff high by going off for 43 points. And almost every time Magic scored, Chick exclaimed "Is he the MVP or is he the MVP?! There should be NO QUESTION who the NBA's MVP is."

But here's what Chick was missing. First, Magic was truly awful on defense; Kevin Johnson lit him up for what was, at the time, his career playoff high (37 points).

Now, I wasn't able to find the box score, but I rewatched this game over the summer, and I remember that at one point in the third quarter Magic had one assist and none of of the other Lakers were really into the game offensively. James Worthy, in particular, was a complete non-factor and was rarely given the ball in position to score.

Chick was so excited about Magic's scoring and seemingly so determined to defend his MVP that he was missing some very obvious flaws in Magic's overall performance (although he sure gave Worthy some funk for his poor play).

Now, that's not an "OH, THE GUTLESS, YELLOW WAY THEY DO THINGS HERE!" by any stretch of the imagination. And Chick, for sure, was one of the best, most astute and least biased home announcer I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. But there were plenty of similar occurences over the years. Not egregious. But not exactly non-homer, either. IMHO.

Aram -- Thanks for the info. Sadly, I was hoping the Celtics might sign him...

Jonny -- Wow! I gotta try to make that a late addition.

lordhenry -- I agree, to a point. I think Most was a little overboard. But I kinda enjoy homers, even when they're against my team. And I've always felt like, especially these days, Tommy Heinsohn is trying to live up to Johnny's legend a bit.

Anonymous Story said...
I used to have a sports blooper tape from the late '80s, and one of the clips was from when the Celtics visited USSR to play the Soviet team in an exhibition.

The clip was of Most absolutely butchering the names of the Soviet players to the point that he just gave up and started referring to them as things like "Lefty" and "The Big Fella."

That makes me wonder how Johnny Most would have called a game against Denver when they had Nikoloz Tskitishvili.

Blogger chris said...
Story: "Draft bust?" "Worst player in the world?" "Unpronouncably terrible?"

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bawful, sorry Homer is already in the dictionary, surely you remember the episode with crybaby johnson guest starring?

http://www.damninteresting.net/content/homer_dictionary.jpg

Anonymous Frosty said...
I'm pretty surprised that Deshawn "I'm the worst shooter in NBA history! And yes, LeBron is still overrated!" Stevenson's historical FG% wasn't mentioned. Dude's "earning" 3.6m this season, pretty much a bargain for the wiz huh?

Here's the link:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&type=totals&per_minute_base=48&year_min=1959&year_max=2009&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&height_min=0&height_max=99&lg_id=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=&qual=&c1stat=fg_pct&c1comp=lt&c1val=.375&c2stat=mp_per_g&c2comp=gt&c2val=25&c3stat=g&c3comp=gt&c3val=15&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=fg_pct&order_by_asc=Y

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful, the guy called Laker games for more than 40 years, so yes, I'm sure he had some moments of pro-Laker bias scattered around here and there during that time; but to call Hearn "a homer for sure" is just flat incorrect, especially since his reputation was the direct opposite of that. That's all I was saying, I wasn't saying the guy never gave any clue as to which team he rooted for.

But since you gave your Chick Hearn story, I'll give you mine:

When Hearn was broadcasting his 3,000th consecutive game for the Lakers, the team decided to honor him at halftime for the feat. Well, it so happened that at the half the Lakers were trailing the Magic by 5, and as such the first thing Hearn said to the halftime crowd while being honored was "Let’s go, Lakers. You’re playing like dogs. If they play the third quarter like they played the first half, I’m going to buy them Alpo." It was classic Hearn - upset with the Lakers for playing like crap, rather than being upset with the refs or anything else, and he placed the blame on the Lakers for being behind. He loved the Lakers and wanted them to win, but he was certainly no homer.

Anonymous Mads said...
Hey - did you notice Portlands 6-man play against the Celtics last night? Definitely WOTN-material.

Blogger Drake said...
Speaking about the passion being sucked out of games:

I remember a few years ago on MSG network, when the Knicks were already in the dregs, Marv Albert started to criticize the Knicks and the management on air in the middle of the game. So Jimmy Dolan became upset by these criticisms being made on air about his team on his network. So he fired Albert for being disobedient to the Knicks and the MSG network.

Luckily for us Knicks, we've had some other good announcers come after him, like Mike Breen and Gus Johnson. Unfortunately for us, the Knicks just got worse from that point on.

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