I’ve said repeatedly that this Mavs season is going to be disappointing.
Same with the product off the court, thanks to the sad departure of TV analyst Bob Ortegel. The 74-year-old announced last week he was taking a year off and would then determine his future in basketball.
He will be missed.
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More than anyone this side of Dick Motta, I loved talking hoops with Ortegel more than anyone. I picked his brain when I was a beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and had him on as a regular guest on 105.3 The Fan. His knowledge was uncanny, but his communication style spoke to the common fan.
Ortegel coached college basketball for 18 years, then became a TV analyst for the Missouri Valley Conference in 1982. He joined Mavs’ broadcasts in ’88 and served on the team’s TV and radio products. He called games coached by all nine head coaches in Mavericks’ history.
Much as I love Derek Harper and as much as I understand owner Mark Cuban’s desire to keep his product young, I thought it was a mistake to demote Ortegel from games to the studio in 2011.
The Mavs won’t be as good in 2016. And, without Ortegel, neither will their TV broadcasts.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.