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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sunderland Gets One-Year Laker Deal
By LARRY STEWART, TIMES STAFF WRITER

Paul Sunderland and the Lakers have agreed in principle on a deal that will make him the second play-by-play announcer the NBA team has had since it moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis in 1960.

"Paul and the Lakers are satisfied with the terms that have been worked out," Sunderland's agent, Martin Mandel of San Francisco, said Monday night.

Mandel said he expected the contract to be signed today or Wednesday, with an announcement after that.

Sunderland will replace the legendary Chick Hearn, who died Aug. 5. Hearn began announcing Laker games during the playoffs in 1961, at the end of the team's first season in L.A.

Mandel declined to give terms of the agreement, and Sunderland and Laker officials would not comment.

But sources said it is a one-year contract in the $300,000 range.

"I will say that compared to what other NBA announcers make, it is a fair-market deal," Mandel said.

The one-year term was a sticking point in negotiations, sources said. The offer was made Friday and an agreement wasn't reached until late Monday.

It is believed the Lakers insisted on a one-year contract because they want to see how the local telecasts on Channel 9 and Fox Sports Net fare against ESPN telecasts this season before making a lengthy commitment.

Under the NBA's new national television contract with ABC, ESPN and Turner, local telecasts no longer will be protected by blackouts.

Perhaps another reason for a short-term contract is that the Lakers want to reevaluate Sunderland after he has a full season under his belt. Sunderland called 56 games last season when Hearn was sidelined by heart surgery and then hip surgery, and his work was generally well-received.

The Lakers will continue to simulcast games on television and radio with Sunderland and Stu Lantz, at least for one more season.

The Lakers' first exhibition game is Oct. 8, when they play the Clippers at Bakersfield. That game will be televised by Channel 9 and broadcast on flagship radio station KLAC (570).
 

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I'm actually a fan of the simulcast. Maybe because of Chick all these years. I enjoy when the commentators actually comment on the action! Often TV guys get lost in unrelated dribble (no pun intended) or leave dead space. I remember Costas on NBC a few years back. To me it was painful. "Jordan with the ball.............................he shoots........................ZZZZzzzzzz."

Go Sund and Stu!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I love the simulcasts too. Makes watching NBA basketball easier. I can't stand the stories, Bill Walton and everything else during a game. Just give me Kevin, Al or Hot Rod and I'm happy. Just describe the action.

I figured Paul would get the job. He's local, Hot Rod is in trouble with his drunk driving and Al McCoy will never leave Phoenix. Kevin is good in Seattle. He's got potty mouth on satellite or at least used to when the Sonics feeds weren't digital. So does Joel Meyers at FOX, so I didn't think that would fit into the Lakers image, so I took those 2 out of the loop real fast. I would of loved Al "What a shot: Whataburger" McCoy, but I knew he wouldn't leave Phoenix.

I hope Paul does well. He got better as the season went along. 10 games not on local TV for the Lakers this year in the regular season including opening night, so Paul will have 10 exclusively on radio.

Lakers management wanted a simulcast to go up against ESPN and ABC and have one set of announcers to identify with this year. FOX and KCAL wanted separate ones for TV and radio (must be easier from a budget/engineering view??), but I'm happy a simulcast continues.

Only 2 weeks away from pre-season. Works out great. Rams and Steelers haven't won a game yet. Dodgers probably are out of the playoffs, Angels are going to have to get in one of these days and face NY (series will be over by the 8th and hopefully in the 2nd round), but the M's just keep having great 8th innings. If the Angels, Dodgers, Rams and Steelers are out of it then it's time to watch the hardcourt action when the Bruins aren't playing. :)
 
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