According to a report on the L.A. Daily News, L.A. Lakers play-by-play announcer Joel Meyers will not be brought back for next season.
Meyers has been doing play-by-play for the Lakers since 2003... and he replaced Paul Sunderland on the TV front two years later. Spero Dedes, who has been doing the radio play-by-play for the last six years, is reportedly going to replace Mr. Meyers.
It took a while for me to get used to Joel Meyers. I thought Sunderland did a good job on his own but anybody coming after the legendary Chick Hearn would instantly get a hard time from people because they were naturally going to compare them. I thought Meyers was straight out of a voiceover from The Simpsons but as time went on, I grew on his style. He played the straight man to Stu Lantz's increasing sarcasm and did a great job calling the action. He especially won me over when we talked last summer and he was right; no one can replace Chick Hearn.
Spero Dedes is one of the better young play-by-play announcers in all of sports today. He was probably due to get the Lakers PBP TV spot at some point but I guess the Lakers felt they couldn't let him get away to another organization. Still, I felt that Joel had a lot to give to the Lakers and if this does come to fruition, I'm going to miss him.
Joel Meyers does have the pedigree; besides the Lakers, he did play-by-play for the San Antonio Spurs and has done some NFL, MLB, NCAA Football, golf, the Olympics, and work for NBC and ESPN.
Spero Dedes has not only done Laker radio games but he's also done some NCAA basketball and NFL. He also did some hosting duties for the NFL Network. At 31, he already has quite the resume.
If it really is true (every party has declined to talk about this publicly until the end of the season), then best of luck to Joel Meyers. I'm sure he'll have no problem landing another play-by-play gig. As for Spero, he'll be great whether he does radio or TV for the Lakers.We're always up late. How about buying us a coffee? Or an energy drink!?