Publish date:

Under Review James's Games--Sister, Where Art Thou?

Cavaliers radio announcer Joe Tait, the voice of the team since
they began play in 1970, may be the only man in Cleveland not
swept up in LeBron James mania. The 65-year-old broadcaster, a
seven-time Ohio Sportscaster of the Year, says it'll be business
as usual when it comes to describing the play of the NBA's
most-hyped rookie ever. "I've got no nicknames planned, no
signature calls; he's not going to be King James or the Chosen
One," says Tait, who has called 2,567 Cavs games. (Among active
announcers, only Phoenix's Al McCoy has called more games for one
NBA team.) "I guess you can classify me as Old School. I'm hoping
for good stuff, but I'm not anticipating anything." The NBA's
broadcast partners, however, are. The Cavaliers are scheduled to
appear on national TV 13 times next season, including James's
Oct. 29 debut against the Kings (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.). Also on tap
are his first game against the Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony on Nov. 5
(ESPN, 8 p.m.) and a meeting with the Lakers on Jan. 12 (TNT, 10
p.m.). The last time the Cavs appeared on national television was
Dec. 6, 2000, a 92-88 win over the Bulls on TNT.

The knee surgery that forced Serena Williams to withdraw from the
U.S. Open could turn out to be very painful...for CBS. The
network is airing the Sept. 6 women's final in prime time, as it
has for the past two years. Both times the final featured Serena
against her sister, Venus, and both times the match was the
highest-rated network show that night. As it stands now, though,
the two top seeds will likely be Belgians, Kim Clijsters and
Justine Henin-Hardenne, meaning the network could be stuck airing
a final that would be a dream matchup in Brussels but a ratings
nightmare in the U.S. --R.D.