Gus Johnson Rumors
05 Nov 13
Is Marv Albert headed to CBS? Industry sources say Albert, TNT’s voice of the NBA, is talking to CBS about joining the network to work both NFL football and college basketball. Albert would be adding those gigs to his TNT play-by-play work. Ironically, if Albert does sign with CBS, he would be taking the spots vacated earlier this week by Gus Johnson, who left the network to join Fox as a college football/NFL voice.
Gus Johnson, whose frantic play-by-play became a trademark of March Madness, is officially out at CBS and headed to Fox. “CBS declined to match Fox’s offer,” an industry source said Monday night. “They let Johnson’s people know today.” A CBS source who wanted Johnson – a former Knick radio voice – back said that not only money, but politics was an issue. The source said some of CBS Sports’ college hoops voices were not thrilled with Johnson’s rise to March Madness’ most popular voice.
The appropriate response to all the niceties exchanged between Madison Square Garden Network suits and Gus Johnson, in the wake of the Excitable One’s exile from the Knicks’ radio booth, is simple. Count to three. Then take your index finger and stick it down your throat. Please. Johnson kissing MSG tuchis and getting the same response in return can’t hide the fact the Gulag Network has been greasing the skids for Johnson’s departure – economically speaking – since 2008. Johnson screamed “rise and fire” and MSG suits shot him down. If Johnson doesn’t realize this he is only fooling himself. See, it’s understandable why he’s recycling the same quotes (“I’m really thankful and appreciative to have had the opportunity to work at the Garden”) on his MSG Autopsy Media Tour. Johnson would be foolish to burn a bridge. Especially when the possibility exists his pal, Isiah Thomas, may be headed back to the Garden. If Zeke returns, there’s a good chance Johnson won’t be far behind.
Frank Isola: Gus is reportedly out due to a contract dispute. I can’t help but think that some executives weren’t thrilled that Gus is friends with Isiah
Over the last two seasons, Johnson, 43, had annoyed MSG Network shot-callers by missing many games to work outside TV gigs, including CBS’ college basketball and Showtime boxing. Johnson’s primary replacement is expected to be Mike Crispino, an MSG TV and radio multi-tasker since 1992. Johnson, in 1997, replaced Mike Breen, who moved to MSG TV.
Finally, the late Gus Johnson — Thurmond’s friend, teammate and mentor at Akron Central-Hower High School — will join Thurmond in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “To me, an injustice has been corrected,” Thurmond said from his home in San Francisco. “Gus was one of the best basketball players ever to play in the NBA. “Gus was a better all-around basketball player than I, and I’m in the Hall of Fame. I always felt a little squeamish about that because, knowing his talents . . . Sometimes people get left behind. Gus only played  years. My stats look great because I played 14. But you have to remember the guys who don’t play as long.
“Gus was ahead of his time,” said Thurmond, who is 2 1/2 years younger than Johnson. “He was ambidextrous. Most guys didn’t handle with two hands. His jumping ability is legendary. “He was my mentor. He was older than I was. He was a better basketball player. He ended up being a better basketball player all around. No question about that. “I looked up to Gus. Gus was the kind of guy everybody liked. He could get along with the guy who lived in the street or the pool hall or he could sit down in the minister’s house. He was that versatile as a person. “We had so much fun once we got to the NBA, reminiscing. Here were two guys from a small school in Akron who made the pros. There was a sense of pride in us.”