Bad news: Quality Thunder highlights will no longer be ruined by Grant Long yelling “dunk it!” next season.
The team announced Monday that Long, who has served as a Thunder TV analyst the last six seasons, will not return to Fox Sports Oklahoma for the 2014-15 season. The team is immediately searching for a replacement.
Probably not-so-coincidentally, a report a few weeks ago uncovered Long having a number of standing unpaid debts.
Who should replace Long? Five quick suggestions:
1) Nick Collison as the league’s first player-analyst. When he’s not playing, Collison hops on the mic to add his insight. When he is playing, Steven Adams backs him up.
2) Jim Ross.
3) Miles Rawls. With the Wizards hiring KD’s former high school coach, the Thunder need to go a full step further and hire Goodman League pioneer and emcee extraordinaire Rawls.
4) The Rucker Park announcer guy. “I. AM. THE. BEST.” would sound pretty cool on TV.
5) Robert Swift. I’ve heard a bunch of people suggest Desmond Mason. Forget that. Bring back a real former Thunder legend.
In all seriousness though, the Thunder have an opportunity here to hire someone good. Mason’s name has been tossed around a ton, and I’m sure he’d toe the company line like Long did, but what I want is someone to elevate the discussion. The Thunder are one of the highest profile teams in the league. Fans deserve a top notch analyst and not someone that just kisses ass non-stop and spins everything into a positive light. I don’t know who that should be, but who the Thunder hire will say a lot about them, and even more about what they think about you, the viewer.