Spero Dedes Rumors
Kostas Papanikolaou: A few hours later I watched my first NFL game, with the Texans hosting the Bills. There I met, Spero Dedes, another fellow Greek that is very successful on TV, as a play-by-play announcer on the CBS network. We met for few minutes, during halftime, and he is an exceptional guy. They even let me watch them while they were broadcasting the game live on TV. It was a great experience. I will meet with Spero again, when I will be in Los Angeles for the opening night game against the Lakers.
Spero Dedes and MSG Network have parted ways, ending his three-season run as the Knicks’ radio play-by-play man and primary TV fill-in for Mike Breen. Dedes cited a desire to expand his national announcing portfolio, which created scheduling complications. “With my contract up at the end of the season we kind of knew of another opportunity that was around the corner and from a scheduling standpoint it probably wasn’t going to work out,” Dedes said Wednesday. “I wanted to stay and have both gigs. They gave me a certain degree of schedule flexibility, but in order to do what I needed to do I was going to need more and they just weren’t going to give it to me, which I completely understood from their perspective. “It was an opportunity to take the next step nationally. It just basically came to a fork in the road.”
If anyone had a problem with what Dedes said, which he apologized for in a statement issued by MSG (“I will be much more sensitive to my choice of words moving forward”), then the alleged “disciplinary action” amounted to a tug on his ear lobe. Dedes was not pulled from the air. In fact, he called the Hawks-Knicks game on Wednesday night for MSG TV. A well-embedded Garden mole said Dedes, in one of the days following his extremely poor choice of words, received a tongue lashing from a Garden executive. Other than that, logic suggests Dedes either got fined or was forced to watch “The Best of Jill Martin’s Halftime Interviews.” Now that’s tough “disciplinary action.”
While watching Madison Square Garden Network’s postgame show on Monday night, after the Nets beat the Knicks, 100-92, there were no expectations of hearing anything about Spero Dedes and the flap over his “c—- in the armor” reference he made the previous Friday when describing Jeremy Lin’s first loss as a starter. When it comes to these type of affairs, rare as they might be, this was business as usual. This is the Gulag, where many things are done surreptitiously. The statement MSG issued concerning Dedes was typically cryptic. It said that, even though Dedes used an “inappropriate” term “unintentionally and inadvertently” after the Knicks lost to New Orleans, he was still the recipient of “appropriate disciplinary action,” which Garden management would not disclose.
MSG says it has punished a radio announcer who used an offensive term about Knicks guard Jeremy Lin. The network says the term Spero Dedes “unintentionally and inadvertently” used was “inappropriate and inconsistent with the high regard we have for Jeremy Lin as a member of our MSG family, as well as for the Asian community.”
It was not long after Dedes accepted the Knicks job — but before he had signed his contract — when he was arrested on a DWI charge. Police pulled him over in Southampton early one morning during the July 4 weekend. “I took full responsibility for that,” Dedes said. “It was just kind of a crummy way to make a first impression with a new employer. Here the Knicks are giving me this wonderful opportunity and I kind of felt like I let them down and [also] my family. “It was an unfortunate mistake on my part. … But the Knicks stood by me and that’s something I’m not going to forget. … The Knicks could have gone the other way — absolutely. It was a tense couple of days for me. It was not fun.”
Spero Dedes’ dad was having none of it. Described by his son, the Knicks new radio play-by-play man, as “old school,” Peter Dedes has run the Union Plaza Diner on Route 22 in Union, N.J., for more than 35 years. And he wasn’t keen on dropping $30,000 a year on tuition at Fordham University so his son could get a degree in communications, find that he couldn’t land a job, and return to the diner where Spero had worked while growing up. So Dedes, who never wanted to be anything other than a sportscaster, started his undergraduate career as a business major. It was the only way his dad would agree to pay the freight.