Anonymous
Years ago

RIP Les Murray

We all know he passed away but it got me thinking basketball has no equivalent in this country in terms of a recognisable media face. Does anyone even come close for Aus bball? I can't think of anyone.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Bill Woods

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Steve Carfino

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Clinton Grybus.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

John Casey?

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Boti Nagy if he was on TV.

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UseTaHoop  
Years ago

993 above

Thanks for the input Boti

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Anonymous  
Years ago

It's not Boti but me.

When he cameoed on the NBL studio shows on Fox Sports back in the day he was legit. Blew anyone else away. Helps when he actually researched the league unlike Carfino.

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Haz  
Years ago

The problem basketball has had with the media is that any coverage the sport has gotten throughout its history, its had different people head up the coverage. And its mostly football personalities that work on the network and have been assigned the basketball gig, as part of their contract.

So, no there has never been a Les Murray equivalent to basketball. Because basketball has never had the stability to be on one channel over the last 35 years or had the respect to have its own people covering it. Boti would be close but hes never been on TV (as far as im aware)

Steve Carfino does not count. He is no where near at the level that Les Murray was.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Haz great post, basically the perfect answer I was looking for!

I will add that Boti did occassionally make appearances on the last NBL panel show Fox had (early-mid 2000s). He was a natural personality on TV and well researched.

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Haz  
Years ago

^ thanks anon! I guess from a local point of view (Perth) someone like the late John Gardiner comes to mind. He basically covered all Wildcats home games from their inception through to the late 90s and his background was all about basketball. He probably wasnt that well known though unfortunately.

Dennis Cometti possibly too, though he will obviously be remembered for football first and foremost.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

John Gardiner (RIP) had such a soothing voice, and was a lifelong basketball devotee to top it all off. These types of personalities fell away when Channel 10 canned free to air coverage. Such a shame. Dog act Ch 10, dog act. It goes back to your point about their not being a stable broadcaster for talent to have long basketball media careers.

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koberulz  
Years ago

Steve Carfino does not count. He is no where near at the level that Les Murray was.
He might not be anywhere near Murray's level, but I think he's the closest basketball has.

Cometti only called a couple of seasons of NBL, and Gardiner and Nagy never really went outside their respective states (to the extent Nagy was on TV at all).

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koberulz  
Years ago

John Gardiner (RIP) had such a soothing voice, and was a lifelong basketball devotee to top it all off.
I've never particularly enjoyed Gardiner's commentary, although I'm not sure whether that's just a matter of it not aging well. A lot of the guys from that era (Palmer, Christison, Ensel, etc) are similar.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

It was pretty primitive and simplistic back then re: knowledge of commentators. But then again even today it's hard to listen to most NBL commentators. To be fair though there is no outlet for them to practice their craft.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Practice in the sense of commentating somewhere else before covering NBL.

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Southern Joe  
Years ago

Everyone seems to be forgetting about John Casey.

He had his own thread on many forums for his "Caseyisms" such as " 2 pieces of the iron", "Puts the lid on 2 more" , & of course the classic , " Shot clock now down to single numbers"

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Isaac  
Years ago

None of the NBL options have an avenue to hit the public quite like soccer's World Cup. That routinely gave his name and voice national exposure. There is no equivalent for NBL contenders like Carfino or Casey.

Outside of Boti, no other identity has had the longevity/persistence with written coverage. It's a big step down to someone like Roy Ward - and who else after that? It helped that Boti was singularly focused on basketball which is a rare thing within Australia and I don't know that we'll see it again in modern media.

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Southern Joe  
Years ago

I think there's 2 aspects to the OP's question to consider.

We as a basketball following community know Boti as the closest to a Les Murray for basketball. Outside of that, what non or casual fan would know who Boti is ? (Apart from any SA people who see his name in the papers you have over there).

As a general public, Casey would be the closest to recognisable because of his distinctive style & voice. I would dare say that anyone hearing him call other sports may just simply ask, " Hey. Isn't he teh dude that used to call NBL matches?"

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Isaac  
Years ago

In SA, sports fans who are not core NBL followers tend to know Boti from reading the sports news over the last 10-20 years. Doubt he has a profile outside of basketball interstate.

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Southern Joe  
Years ago

Exactly.

Hence why on a public level nation wide Casey would have a higher overall profile when it comes to basketball.

The real face of bball in Australia would be Andrew Gaze.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

My question was about a media personality like Les who wasn't an ex-player so scrap Carfino. But yes if you went the player route it would clearly by Gaze.

The problem is even with John Casey there is no longevity, only started in 1995 when Fox launched and bought NBL rights.

We don't have anyone on screen, in print yes Boti and he is only regional really.

We don't have anyone comparable basically.

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Southern Joe  
Years ago

Well ....

Technically Les WAS an ex player.

He played for my mighty St George Budapest in its early years when it was still a part time State Comp in the 60s.

Just that part was not well known. Not even to me who knew a decent amount about Les Murray.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Correct SJ but he was never known later on as an ex-player if you know what I mean. Old state leagues and NSL later on - man those were the days!

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Problem is that soccer has always had a profile on sbs I believe for decades and Les was a fixture. Basketball has bounced around so many times there's never been longevity in an announcer, Carfino has probably been the longest back to the heights of the 90s.
Going old school, can anyone else remember Don Lane presenting NBA and College on Friday nights on ABC, from memory at about 10pm. Always loved tuning in, no breaks and getting to know the college game which previously had no idea about.

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Anonymous  
Years ago

Nice mention of Don Lane. Totally forgot this one. If there was longevity he could have been it.

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Matt  
Years ago

What about Brian Kerle, he did heaps of media, on top of playing and coaching and administration.
Andrew Gaze has done a lot of media at Olympics and NBL finals etc..

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Anono  
Years ago

BK all busy with his academy doubt he has the time

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