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Media Meltdowns

Lunkhead Broadcaster Chooses Exact Wrong Sequence Of Words To Describe Game-Winning Shot

Kevin Porter Jr. hit a very cool hero shot on Wednesday night at the end of a game between his bad but frisky Houston Rockets and the mediocre but decidedly un-frisky Washington Wizards. Porter, in his first game back after a brief suspension for storming out of the arena at halftime of his team’s recent loss to the Denver Nuggets, used a screen to work a favorable matchup, burned all but 0.4 seconds of clock, and then stepped back for a lovely pull-up three-pointer for the win. Here is a replay of that big moment, as called by fill-in Wizards broadcaster Glenn Consor:

Consor’s call can seem innocuous or even confusing without some biographical information. Porter’s father, a man named Brian Kevin Porter Sr., was shot and killed in 2004, when his son was four years old. The reference in the call certainly seemed to point to an incident in 1993, when Porter Sr. pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of a 14-year-old girl. Taken at face value, Consor’s quip seems like an incredibly cruel and impossibly inappropriate thing to say about a visiting player hitting a game-winner over your home team. People were, understandably, extremely pissed:

Consor, a long-time fixture on Bullets and Wizards radio calls, has lately been pulling fill-in duty for Wizards television broadcasts, as he does from time to time. It’s not great; the man hasn’t updated his basketball wisdoms in decades, and as a result can be a deeply annoying basketball analyst. The very first place he looks to explain why one team is beating the other is the rebounds column; in all cases the thing that the losing team must do in order to become the winning team is “get some more side-to-side action in their offense.” His bread-and-butter move when it comes to analyzing modern players is over-confident comparisons with guys he came across during a very brief professional playing career in Israel in the early 1980s, and then as an NBA scout prior to the start of his broadcasting career. If I had to put a number to it, I would estimate that I have heard him compare as many as 30 different current NBA players to Earl Monroe.

It is part of Consor’s schtick to audibly perk up when he has personal recollections of the fathers of active NBA players, but it turns out this can be a very unhelpful reflex when you’re a big sloppy goof who slides by on charm and doesn’t do his homework. “Kevin Porter Jr., like his dad, pulled that trigger right at the right time” would be a pointless but also harmless thing to say if Kevin Porter Jr. were, as Consor almost certainly thought, the son of former Washington Bullets star Kevin Porter, whose NBA career wrapped just as Consor’s mental store of NBA reference points was reaching its capacity, roughly 40 years ago.

NBC Sports Washington, which broadcasts Wizards games, followed Consor’s lead Thursday with a statement saying they “join in Glenn’s apology to Kevin Porter Jr. and his family.” If this was a case of mistaken identity from a hapless broadcaster haplessly Remembering A Guy—and Consor should probably prepare himself for a future in which many, many people do not accept this explanation—it’s an all-timer. But even if it was an honest mistake, a broadcaster meeting the minimum performance expectations of his profession should confirm that particular piece of information before bringing it to a live NBA broadcast. Everyone now knows that this particular broadcaster cannot meet those particular expectations.