In Defense of Dante Marchitelli and George Galante, the Magic's Summer-League Announcers

The non-Elton Brand NBA story of the day seems to be the performances of Magic employees George Galante and Dante Marchitelli, who called six hours' worth of meaningless Orlando Pro Summer League basketball yesterday, and will do so for the remainder of the week. Awful Announcing (via BDL) even has a highlight reel. Some people did not appreciate the crew's MST3K-esque attitude toward the games, while other people enjoyed the way their humor made the broadcast more interesting. I fall into the latter camp. "Traditional" announcing would only make the dull, poorly played games even less watchable. Kudos to Dante and Galante, as they're collectively known, for making truly awful basketball mildly entertaining.

And before we get all high-and-mighty about how the crew's indifference trivializes the games, let's remind ourselves that we're watching something inherently trivial: summer league basketball. The teams are made up of second-or-third-year players, rookies, and guys who don't have a prayer of ever playing a single minute in the NBA. BrewHoop has a nice rundown of good NBA players who played horribly during the summer, and middling NBA players who played well during the summer. Doug Smith of the Toronto Star said it best: "The only thing anyone generally ever learns at summer league is who can't play, not who can."

I should note that Marchitelli has professional broadcast experience. He's a sideline reporter for the Magic's radio broadcasts on AM 580, and, if I'm not mistaken, also the broadcast manager. It's not as though the Magic picked a random intern and put him behind a mic. It only seems that way to some people.

And now for something completely different: Ball Don't Lie invites you to caption this photo of Stan Van Gundy and Pat Riley.

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