Wednesday, May 17

Ehlo: No Longer Mint

Ehlo out, Lenny in. Let the celebration begin.
Fox is expected to replace former Sonic Craig Ehlo as its Sonics color analyst with Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens, who served as a studio host this past season and will work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro for the first time.
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Ehlo’s two-year contract expired and Fox decided not to renew it, instead opening negotiations with Wilkens, who coached Ehlo in Cleveland and Atlanta.

“I have no hard feelings,” Ehlo said from his Spokane home. “I had a great two years. I got to work with Kevin Calabro, who is the best in the business, and every day I learned something from him.”

Fox executives declined to comment. But a source at Fox said the network would like to use Ehlo in another capacity, perhaps announcing college basketball games.

Meanwhile, Wilkens, whose contract negotiations are ongoing, will join a long line of sidekicks to Calabro, who since 1997 has worked with Danny Schayes, Billy McKinney, Rick Carlisle, James Donaldson and Marques Johnson, among others.

from the News Tribune
(Thanks to Ryan for the tip!)

Oh yeah, and here's the official Craig Ehlo highlight reel:

29 comments:

Nuss said...

Don't know what to think about Lenny; I never really saw him in the pre- and post-game stuff, so I can't say I'm thrilled, except that it means Ehlo is gone.

One trouble with Lenny is he's not exactly Mr. Excitement. The best color guys are expressive and fun, Lenny is neither. Unless he takes the Steve Jones Way and analyzes the heck out of every game (which I have no problem with), this might go over like a lead balloon.

In fact, that makes me want to list off the best color guys I can remember. In no particular order:

Hubie Brown - Hands-down the best
Doc Rivers - Solid
Steve Jones - Always good
Magic Johnson - Awful, but enjoyable to listen to for the sheer comedy
Marques Johnson - Anybody who has pulled a gun on Woody Harrelson gets a thumbs-up from me
Chuck Daly - Nobody really mentions him, but he did a great job with TNT alongside Kevin Harlan (my own personal favorite broadcaster, non-Calabro division)
John Thompson and Danny Ainge - These guys were fun together, especially for Laker games because of Ainge's obvious hatred of LA.

The worst?

Bill Walton - ugh
Mike Fratello - Just plain awful
Doug Collins - Who decided he's the best out there? Can I order a hit on whoever did?

ryan said...

Bill Walton is the Tim McCarver of basketball.

biggie said...

Everyone over at douchebagcentral thinks Lenny Wilkens is the worse choice in the world for Calabro's partner. I disagree, Lenny knows more about basketball than James Naismith. He's the man. I love the choice. You go Lenny.

Lance Uppercut said...

Lenny Wilkins has forgotten more about basketball than anybody at Sonics Central ever knew, but that doesn't mean he'll make for a good broadcaster. He probably will, but there's a whole lot more to being in broadcasting than being well versed on a subject. That's the basis for a good career (something which, oh, Bill Walton doesn't possess) but it's hardly the end all be all.

Paul Merrill said...

I think Lenny will be great, like Grandpa Simpson with his cross-dressing war stories.

Lenny is a Seattle legend. He'll tell some cool old stories about John Johnson and he'll be fine. A flaming turd would be better than Ehlo.

Marques Johnson was without a doubt KC's best partner.

spock said...

Lenny Wilkens is a logical choice.

There is some flawed thought processing taking place over at SonicsCentral... 93.625% of the posters think that Bob Hill is a better coach than Rick Adelman.

AK1984 said...

Although Lenny Wilkens is the logical choice for the analyst position beside play-by-play man Kevin Calabro, he may nevertheless be too bland for the job.

At any rate, though, Rick Adelman is a way better coach than Bob Hill; there is no denying it.

biggie said...

"There is some flawed thought processing taking place over at SonicsCentral... 93.625% of the posters think that Bob Hill is a better coach than Rick Adelman. " ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I didn't read that one, wow, do they remember the kings pre-Rick Adelman?? I guess not.

Paul Merrill said...

Sure, Rick Adelman may be a great coach, but he looks like Hitler!

biggie said...

"Hail ADELMAN"!!!!!!!!! Was he the coach when the Rock was killin us in the 96 playoffs?? I love the Rock, one of my all time favorite players, I wish the supes would have gotten him. He was the best man at GP's wedding, we sure coulda used that cat during the Vin Baker era.

biggie said...

Who's less hideous, Adolph Hitler or Foreskin Face??

Nuss said...

You can't blame the Kings for dumping Herr Rick. That team is in classic "As Far As They're Gonna Go With This Coach" mode right now and the Maloofs don't strike me as the type willing to wait another 3-4 years to get back to the promised land.

You know what I'd pay money to see? A photograph of Adelman smiling. I honestly can't remember one instance in the past 2 decades where he flashed a grin. The man has perma-grimace.

dick tate said...

Gary St. Jean was the Kings coach in '96.

Richmond was awesome. How much better would the Warriors have been if they had kept Run TMC together?

dick tate said...

Don't agree Nuss. Getting Artest was like a new beginning. What coach is going to come in and keep BOTH Artest and Bonzi in line?

Nuss said...

With Larry Brown on the market, you've got to imagine they'd rather have a defensive-minded coach such as Brown than an offensive-minded one like Adelman (that's an oversimplication of a much more complex situation).

David said...

I'm waiting for the post about Locke being named radio play-by-play announcer. With baited breath.

dick tate said...

Seaking of Locke, I read that he's planning on having a daily blog with his new Sonics network he'll be running. Can't wait to see how long it takes for Biggie to get it shut down to non-members. LOL.

dick tate said...

*Speaking* - where's the edit feature?

biggie said...

What can I say, Davis Locke is a massive douche, I mean that pitcher for the Yankees was El Duque, David Locke is EL Douche (for it to sound right you gotta imagine one of those little things above the e).

Nuss said...

Locke's job as play-by-play on radio is kind of like shouting in the forest - if nobody is there to hear you, do you make a sound?

The only time people listen to the games on the radio is when it's not on TV - which is when Calabro will be doing the radio. Other than that, it's only when you're in the car on the way home and the game is back east.

For what it's worth, I like listening to Locke. At least he tries to find new insights into the game, rather than just regurgitating the same crap other talk show hosts do. That said, he's a little too wound up for my tastes, and his voice is a little shrill for play by play work. It's too bad the Sonics limited their choices to Locke, Wheeler, or Davis - is there some sort of law that says the radio guy has to be from the PNW? After all, Calabro came from KC prior to Seattle, couldn't we look for someone from outside this area?

biggie said...

It's too late now Nuss, they're set with Locke. I hear ya on the broadening of the search though, would be nice to get some fresh talent. Ah well, I know I won't be listening to "the truth".

Man I hope the LeBrons can pull off the upset tonight that'll be nice. I hope the Clippers can get it done, does anyone else get really pissed when they watch Maggette play, knowing that we drafted that kid, and thinking about how awesome it would be if he were wearing the Green and Yellow (it's not gold, I hate it when people call it gold especially in Seattle when we have a great reference as to what exactly is gold i.e. the Huskies).

biggie said...

So when Locke's show begins are we gonna hear a booming voice say "WELCOME TO D-D-D-D-DOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCHEFEEEEEEEEEST"!!!!!!!!!!! starring the one and only 'El Douuuuuuche'. LOL, ok I'm done.

gabriel mott said...

So far everyone who seems to be in support of Lenny as the sidekick hasn't really watched him and just thinks he'll be good because he knows so much about hoop. Maybe he'll be completely refashioned in the new role, but he was really really boring in the post game segue he had. (Maybe it was the godawful blue set that he was in when he was reporting). His analysis always seemed to state the obvious, he droned his words... the last thing I remember from watching the post game was "no wonder this cat couldn't communicate with the young players, he is from a way bygone generation."

Nuss said...

I hear you, Gabriel. I openly confessed that I'd never heard the pre- and post-game stuff he did, and was just hoping for the best considering his vast hoops background.

It's kind of sad the Sonics don't try to do anything unique with this situation. Teams in dire financial situations shouldn't be taking the safe way out of anything - whether it's hiring broadcasters or players. The Sonics showed that by hiring Dean Oliver they are interested in statistical anaylsis, which is a great step. By hiring Lenny, though, they're just doing the obvious, when going for someone more outrageous or entertaining would be a better move.

Of course, one question emerges: Did the Sonics hire Lenny or did FSN? If it's FSN, then I have to retract everything I just said about the Sonics.

Anonymous said...

This is just a P.S.A.: If you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, and drink about three to four cups of coffee a day, YOUR BREATH SMELLS LIKE SHIT!!!!! Don't come up to somebody and talk in their face, if someone is sitting down don't stand over them and talk. BACK UP, CHEW SOME GUM, DO SOMETHING!!!! The breath of coffee and cigarette abusers could skin a whale, and turn the toughest of stomachs, especially in the morning. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a personal problem.

b_con said...

Lenny Wilkens sounds like Christopher Walken. And looks like a hobgoblin. Did anyone else listen to the TNT Playoff game last week with the audio problems that forced Ernie Johnson, Kenny "the Jet" Smith and Charles Barkley into play by play? It was AWFUL. I'd like to see Warren Moon in the play by play, even if he played football, just so we could hear him say "He got raped!" again on the air.

Alan said...

You guys are slipping. I read two days ago that Detlef Shrempf will be an assistant, and there's no discussion?

Is the Ehlo vs Wilkens debate really that intriguing?

Sean Chan said...

i thought that was an AMAZING HIGHLIGHT REEL of Craig Ehlo. I mean, the way he jumped to block Jordan and how Ehlo landed back on the ground while Jordan was STILL in the air is simply AMAZING. Hahahahaha.