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Win or Lose, they bring their best

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YES Network

Neil Best of Newsday asks a question a lot of us would like an answer to: Would Ian Eagle and Chris Carrino prefer that the Nets not be the worst team in the NBA?

The answer of course is yes, but even if they are, it’s not changing what the Nets play-by-play announcers bring every game.

“It doesn’t change the approach to the job,” said Eagle, who is set to call 53 games on YES this season. “You still prepare the same way. You’re still putting in the same amount of energy and enthusiasm.

“Announcers are undefeated. No wins, but no losses, either. As far as the preparation, approach, it’s the same — truly. I still try to picture in my mind what the viewer needs and if there’s an exciting play on the court, even if it’s by the opponent, you have to be the conduit to bring that excitement to the viewer. “

Carrino agrees, calling what he does a “dream job.”

“The team’s good, the team’s bad, the game’s good, sometimes the game will be bad, but you get to see exciting opponents. Sometimes a player on the Nets will have a great night. You show up at the arena and you never know what you’re going to get,” he tells Best.

“Listen, I’ve gone to the NBA Finals and I’ve gone through a 12-win season. I’ve run the gamut of emotions with this team. But you still remind yourself that this is fun; this is entertainment . . . We don’t sugarcoat it. I can’t tell a fan it’s good when it’s bad, or they’re not going to believe you when it’s good.”

Eagle and Carrino know a lot more about what’s going on than even the beat writers. They travel with the team. Reporters fly commercial. It’s part of their preparation, their understanding of the game.

Mike Fratello also gets some ink on Friday, talking with Justin Terranova of the Post, talking about everything from Kenny Atkinson to the telescrator.

“It’s a really tough job and I know how competitive Kenny is,” Fratello said of Atkinson. “He was one of my assistants the first year I coached the Ukraine national team. The players loved him and he worked his tail off and I’m really happy to see him have this opportunity. He’s going to work at it, but you need talent to win also. This season is about developing young talent, and not about winning games.”

So win or lose, he and the rest of the crew will be there. It may not be easy, but it is the NBA.