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Larry Stewart suggests in his column this week that the Lakers should consider hiring Bob Miller for the soon-to-be vacant TV announcer spot. He must have been reading LAist, which brought up Miller's name last week. But the more we think about it, the more we realize that Miller is the perfect person to become the Lakers' play-by-play announcer.
It's almost impossible to follow Chick Hearn in Los Angeles. Our standards for broadcasting are still enormously high after living with Hearn, Vin Scully, and Bob Miller for most of our lives. But what's remarkable about Miller is that he's always been talented enough to be mentioned in the same sentence as the other two. Unlike, say, Ralph Lawler.
Miller has dutifully broadcast Kings games for over 30 years. No one really noticed how good he was until the Kings acquired Wayne Gretzky. But he's as good as any hockey announcer, Gary Thorne and Mike Emerick included. Miller has never had any desire to do games on a national level, always preferring to be affiliated with just one team. The most national exposure he's ever gotten was a couple of World Cup of Hockey games for Fox Sports Net back in 1996, and as the broadcaster for the Junior Goodwill Games in the movie D2: The Mighty Ducks.
But Bob Miller is an LA icon, one we would accept as a worthy successor to Chick Hearn. He's done basketball before (for University of Wisconsin basketball in the early 1970s) and no one cares about hockey anymore these days. So it make sense for Miller to make the natural transition to Jerry Buss' team, taking his seat in the "Bob Miller Press Box" as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Lakers.