Austin Carr isn't only an NBA announcer with his own drinking game. He's a Cleveland legend, a fantastic broadcaster and a great sport. Here's the rest of our conversation.
Scene: Do you script any of what you're going to say?
Austin Carr: No, it just kind of happens. I just try to be myself.
Some of these NBA arenas have fantastically bad and long names. What do you do in that case, like EnergySolutions Arena, when you want to say "deep in the [blank.]"
In that case, and we were just there, I just said "deep in Utah."
You and Fred McLeod seem to have a great on-air relationship.
I found out early on in the business that you have to be friends. That's something I've had with everyone. You have to be friends to flow on the air. The league wants the fans to feel as if we're sitting at the bar with them, talking about the game. Some people nationally talk down to you as if you don't know what the game of basketball is about. The thing about the game is, pretty much everyone's played it on some level, be it in the driveway or organized ball. You can't talk down to them. You talk with them.
How do you think you've grown since you started 12 years ago?
I learned early on from Joe Tait that you're only as good as your last game. I never think I have it mastered.
You've been around this team for a long time. What does their current success mean to you?
It's huge. I've been in NBA cities a long time. I don't want to say how long. But to have an opportunity to go to the 2007 finals, that was a great feeling. This team now, though, is different. You can feel it. They're on a mission. And it means a lot to me. Just one time before I get out of this game I want to see a championship.
Which uniform do you think they should bring back for a throwback?
The design is important. I like the old logo with the cavalier. That to me is our logo. I like the decal with the swashbuckler in it. I really like the piping on our dark-blue uniforms. That's what we had. Each year you have different styles and different colors. I think you got to keep the logo and style the same. You don't want two or three different ones.
So, basically, anything except the Shawn Kemp-era uniforms?
Yeah, those were bad.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas played rehab games against Danny Ferry recently. Could you take Ferry one-on-one?
I wouldn't even try that. Danny's too big. That's just a big mismatch.