The only constant for the New Orleans Hornets this summer has been change. A new owner, new players and even new radio and television homes are just a few of the changes the Hornets have made in recent months. The turnover continued on Monday as New Orleans failed to retain longtime television announcers Bob Licht and Gil McGregor.
Bob Licht and Gil McGregor
I thoroughly enjoyed Hornets broadcasts on CST with Bob Licht and Gil McGregor as announcers. However, the move doesn't surprise me. New owner Tom Benson is intent on completely rebranding the Hornets in the New Orleans community. I'm sure the decision to bring in new announcers was in no way a reflection on the quality of Licht's and McGregor's work.
I will sorely miss Bob Licht and Gil McGregor on Hornets broadcasts this season. Yes, they announced with a steep slant towards New Orleans. But that is typical of hometown announce teams. I thought Licht and McGregor did their finest work in 2011-12 as they kept Hornets' fans excited about a 21-win team that lost Chris Paul and had no owner.
Some fans may not know that Licht and McGregor were both Hornets announcers before the team moved to New Orleans in 2002. Bob Licht's tenure spanned 16 years, while Gil McGregor announced Hornets games dating back to their inaugural season in Charlotte.
What I will miss most about both announcers is the positive, upbeat tone they brought to New Orleans basketball. Gil McGregor in particular was hilarious with his witty puns that seemed to come out of thin air. I can only hope that the new announcers bring the same level of knowledge and enthusiasm that Licht and McGregor brought.
New broadcast team
There is no word on who will be announcing Hornets games on Fox Sports New Orleans in 2012-13. I would love to see former radio announcer Gerry Vaillancourt move over to television but I have a feeling that won't happen. I'll be watching to see if Benson hires local announcers or if he brings in famous NBA broadcasters from outside New Orleans.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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