Nets fans have been spoiled since 1994, when a 25-year-old Ian Eagle, one of the best broadcasters in the business, got the job covering the team. Four years later he also picked up the gig covering the New York Jets for CBS, and of those gigs, Eagle told Neil Best of Newsday, "if those were the two jobs I had for the rest of my career I would have been more than satisfied."
You may not get too much pushback from Nets fans who have long looked at Eagle as an extension of the team, a familial voice for two decades, quick with the wit and a pop culture quip. Eagle has spoiled Nets fans as one of the game's best broadcasters, and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to have him finish his NBA career in Brooklyn.
He, too, is moving up in the world in CBS, as the broadcast station's newly-minted No. 2 NFL guy, taking his pop culture game to a whole new level.
Eagle is a '70s and '80s pop culture savant, a skill he enjoys flashing, within reason.
"You have to be careful," he said. "Your wheelhouse isn't everyone else's wheelhouse. Just because I know '80s television cold doesn't mean that someone in the audience is going to get a 'Happy Days' reference."
That did not prevent him from employing a "Malachi Crunch" line from an old "Happy Days" episode during an NCAA Tournament game. "I felt really good about it," he said.
He's absolutely the best, indeed.
We spoke with Eagle heading into last season, where he had plenty to say about the franchise, ownership included, Deron Williams' expectations and the reality of bringing a championship to Brooklyn.
As for his pop culture references, this one might be my favorite of all time. Might be.
- Ian Eagle finds the right mix of humor and pop culture in CBS football booth - Neil Best - Newsday