Saturday, May 30, 2009

On A Roll On The Radio

I’m floating on airwaves these days.

* Made the right Laker call on the radio.

* Heard the sharpest hoop voice on the dial in Dean Merrill.

* Met the No. 1 radio personality, Tammy Bruce (the nonbaldy above).

My call. I had enough of the Laker bashing. Especially the piling on Phil Jackson.

L.A.’s favorite team loses one playoff game, and this city loses it. The screaming comes in loud and clear on sports talk radio.

Take KLAA, the Angels’ station. When not dissecting every Halo pitch, the voices hang on every Laker shot and miss. I love it, but last week reached my limit. The morning show, “The Sports Lodge,” kept hammering Jackson, with Roger Lodge and sidekick Dave Smith yelling fire in a crowded radio booth.

So after the Lakers’ Game 4 loss at Denver, I entered the fray. Called in, heard Lodge say “Bucky from Buena Park” and took off.

After lauding the show for reaching our military heroes via Armed Forces Radio, I said: “I’m tired of your myopia when it comes to Phil Jackson. He’s the greatest coach in history. And he’s going to turn Lamar Odom into our J.R. Smith.”

That would be Odom, L.A.’s towering talent, and Smith, the cocky gun on the Nuggets. Or Thuggets, full of other tattooed snots.

The Thugs’ low came amid Smith’s 24-point blitz in Game 4. Flapped his elbows in Jackson’s face. The coach with nine NBA titles looked down to avoid giving J.R. — Just Rank— the eagle eye.

So there was Lodge’s Hollywood and Whine belittling Jackson. Saying Phil won all his titles only because of great players.

I responded: “He has great players now and will win it all.” For a record 10th NBA championship.

Lodge kept trying to make like a sports expert. Only he sounded like he was still hosting “Blind Date.”

The next two games, Odom produced in-your-face games, and L.A. is back in the NBA Finals. What was that about Jackson losing his touch, Lodge?

Dean Merrill. Remember that name. He’s the best on-air hoop analyst you’ve never heard of. That’s because he’s been a ref of high school and college games in the L.A. area, not a slickster on ESPN. Yet he dribbles circles around the network guys, notably Magic Johnson, who has two serious flaws: 1. He’s part owner of the Lakers, making his ESPN work unethical; 2. he’s terrible, with syntax to match.

Merrill scores big time. Strong voice. Stronger paragraph construction. Strongest points.

He comes on Jeff Biggs’ afternoon KLAA show and breaks down the playoffs like the point guard Magic used to be.

Why all the fouls against the Lakers? Don’t blame the refs, says Merrill. Denver was playing Crash Basketball, with all five players hitting the boards, vacuuming rebounds and drawing hacks.

Why Denver’s guard strength? Coach George Karl was playing muscular Chauncey Billups 43 minutes, keeping Jax from countering with skinny Jordan Farmar.

Merrill paints inside basketball like no one. Only Jon Barry on ESPN comes close.

The Dean of Hoops is so compelling, the message is obvious. He should have his own show.

Tammy Bruce. She has her own show, but you don’t hear it. Why? She’s buried on Saturday afternoons on KABC in Los Angeles.

The only folks listening are crazies like me. And I’m crazy about Tammy. She’s the best. Period.

She takes tough political stands. And sells them with her brilliant overture.

Last year she nailed it. Debated a London lefty who wailed about Bush the butcher. Tammy could’ve sunk in this anti-W muck. Instead she threw it in the Brit’s face, saluting the president’s liberation of 53 million people.

Tammy has guts and a cool delivery. Then she visited my paper’s office last week, and wow. Is she hot. And lesbian, so there went that idea.

Still, I want to turn her on. On the radio, that is. And if she makes the right move and leaves tone-deaf KABC, which should have her on drive time, I’ll click on her Internet show.

By then, she’ll have plenty to cheer. Starting with the Lakers’ championship.

Bucky Fox is an author in Southern California and the editor of

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