Bernstein: As Rose Grows, King Blooms

By Dan Bernstein–

The last thing Derrick Rose wants to do is talk about his game. Ask him about any of his violent dunks or contortionist rushes to the rim, and he looks like you just told him he’s headed to a three-hour dentist appointment.

That’s ok, though, since we have Stacey King.

In his third year as the Bulls’ full-time TV analyst since replacing the late Johnny “Red” Kerr, King has refined his craft and found his voice just as Rose has risen to the ranks of the NBA’s elite. He’s the perfect complement, in fact, that has made the experience of watching Rose and the Bulls increasingly entertaining.

Some great pro athletes are naturally flamboyant – their games and personalities are expressive and colorful in and of themselves, and good broadcasters learn to take a less-is-more approach in describing them. Some players suck all the air out of postgame press conferences by describing every emotion they felt at every moment of their obvious wonderfulness.

Rose is not that guy. His style of play is straightforward and straight forward. His is lean, spare basketball, unadorned by affectation. Even his spectacular moves have a purpose, as he does what he has to when he needs to. He is a minimalist amid the baroque.

It creates an ideal framework for King’s celebratory courtside explosions, during which his feelings as a fan are real as can be, and phrases become repeated trademarks only after the fact – nobody could script that stuff. He’s entirely worthy of the new soundboard on the team’s website, which I defy you to click around on without smiling.

The nuts and bolts of the job have to be there, too, and they are. His telestrated breakdowns have polished nicely, he is quick to point out Bulls’ lapses and deficiencies, and he does not get hung up on officiating.

(I do have two quibbles, both minor: his occasional use of “hisself” instead of “himself” has to stop completely, and the term “point guard” has the stress on the former word, not the latter)

And now, with Rose seemingly poised for superstardom and the Bulls a relevant contender, King must be careful to avoid the pitfalls that others have not.

Catch phrases all too quickly can become crutches, and cute can get cloying. He has to make sure his emotional level matches the moment, and he’s not overreaching to be the show. We all cringe, for example, when we hear Dick Vitale howling “Awesome with a capital A!!” after a mundane alley-oop dunk by somebody you’ve never heard of in a Maui Classic game between New Mexico and NC State. Where do you go from there when something really merits it?

If he resists the pull toward caricature, King should settle into his position for the long term. He’s not national-networky, and that’s a good thing. Neither was Kerr, nor the Knicks’ Walt Frazier, the Celtics’ Tom Heinsohn, the Lakers’ Stu Lantz or others who have become civic fixtures.

A generation of Bulls fans is finally emerging from the fading glory years. This spring, we’ll be thirteen years removed from the last championship. There are Bar Mitzvah boys this year that weren’t alive when Michael Jordan was a Bull.

Derrick Rose is a star for a new time, and the guy through whom we can really enjoy him may be one, too.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: As Rose Grows, King Blooms

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM.
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts >>

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Should that not be “Bar” not “Bat” for boys???

    Maybe Coppock would know.


    • Jay's Insulin Pump

      Maybe Mike North knows.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        Dat’s right…cause Mike Nort can print money sez Coppock, so he knows stuff.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Let’s give some love to the Hawks shut-oot of the ‘lanche.

    • AT3374

      LOVE given to the Black hawks

  • General Soreness

    Play-by-play broadcaster Chuck Swirsky and color commentator Bill Wennington do a good job on the radio, as well. Gotta love funk too! Thank God Dore is gone.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      I really like Wennington…he is such a goof.

      Swirsky does good pbp, but I heard him a few times doing fill-in on Booyah1000 (a couple of years ago) and he seemed like a real @sshat then. I can’t recall specifics, just sorta impressed with himself.

  • Glockster

    I was just thinking along the same lines as Bernsie the other day. The over-the-topness of King is very complementary to the over-the-topness of Rose’s play. Simply put, with Stacey King it is impossible to see an exciting play and not get excited yourself. It’s just fun.

    And Dan does correctly point out that King can be over the top, but can’t just be over the top.

    • AT3374

      He’s no Stuart Scott , thank goodness

  • Pulseczar

    What’s a Bar Mitzvah boy? Off to google I go.

    Speaking of quibbles- Dan’s own partner can’t say “can.” It always comes out as “ken.” There’s another word I can’t remember at the moment that he always mispronounces that always grates my ear too. shrug

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      13 year old boy (Bat: 13 y.o. girl).

      Wow…dead-on as to TB and “ken”.
      And you are right, there are several words like that with TB, just can’t think of them off-hand.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        I thought of one that also always bugs me….”ketch” for “catch”.

      • Pulseczar

        I knew it was a sort of coming-of-age ceremony, just didn’t know what exactly the age was.

        There’s one other common word that always gets me but I can’t remember it is.

  • Pulseczar

    I like King as much as I would any announcer. They’re all basically “ok” unless they’re really noticeably bad. I kind of tune them all out unless they don’t let me by sucking.

    At what point (if ever) will King’s “spontaneous histrionics” become passe and overdone? We’ll see. For now, they’re smirk-inducingly fun. I am a professional cynic, however.

    • Pulseczar

      Even my 4 year old son goes around saying, “I wanna go high-yer!”

      We don’t usually DVR the games, but he does always ask if the Bulls won first thing in the morning.

      After the alley-oop, he now wants to be Ronnie Brewer when we play in the basement. Though he still goes around repeating my, “The Bulls really need a shooting guard.”

  • Sophist

    Unbelievable. I stream the first 3 hours of Wednesday’s show because I don’t trust the podcast anymore. Then I check the podcast for those hours later and they’re all the right ones, so I stop streaming. Now I download the podcast for the last two hours and they are old shows. Fix this already! You’re finally losing me.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Thanks for keeping up the campaign Sophist.
      They used to have someone respond (last name was Aranoff or something) but lately, pfft.

      • Sophist

        Graesen (arnoff?). Haven’t seen him around these parts. He seemed like he really wanted to help but had hands tied. Corporate probably told him to stay away from the podcasting riff-raff on the webste. They want us all to use instead — it’s got ads for their tv shows and insurance companies, and who can live without the sweet, sweet voice of Showbiz Shelly.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Exactly, that’s the guy…he was very responsive several months ago.

      No way I can stream on the train…so I need to pod…and miss all the lame Progreeeive ads etc. etc.

      Thanks for trying to get us the pods Sophist.

  • Jay's Insulin Pump

    Maybe someone should let DRose know that those PowerBalance wristbands are a fraud. They have recently come out to “admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct”.

  • Boom Boom

    Why all this love for Coppock? I was a former boxer!

    • Murph

      Hey, what are you doing? Cool Breeze, we arn’t suppose to talk about the other shows!

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      I always thought the Webio show should have been called “Chet and the Chimp” given the level of discourse.

      • Boom Boom

        Hey now, North/Hernadez hand pickd me

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    When I first heard about the Brandi Favre meth lab story I thought “Oh boy, this is gonna be GREAT!” I started to try to think of all the hilarity that could discussed- the jokes would surely flow freely… but I drew a blank. For some reason, it just wasn’t funny to me- and I’m wrestling with WHY.
    Is it because meth is a serious issue? No way. Meth today is what Crack was 20 years ago: a serious problem that still found its way into humor. Almost all of us have called someone doing crazy or stupid things a “crackhead” at one time or another- it was one of the fallback insults of the 90’s, and if anyone fits the meth stereotype, it’s undoubtedly a member of the Favre family.
    Is it because I think we should respect Favre in this time of turmoil? Well, that hadn’t affected my decision making over the last few years, so why would it start now?
    Or, is it because like someone who feels they have cried too many tears in sadness, such as for a divorce or a death, we’ve already laughed so much at Favre -his actions and misfortune- that we’ve just run out of chuckles? Have we laughed our last laugh at Brett?

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Does this enhance his county-road-cred for the Wranglers commercials?

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      We just NEVER want to hear the name “Favre” again.

      By the way, in the old days do you think Sis got him some Vicodin???

  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    Wow, eff this refresh, and this blog 2 of my comments are lost ‘In space’ and I didn’t even say anything bad.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Yup, happens to me on a daily effin basis…more often as a “reply”.

  • plateauspeak

    Dan hit the nail on the head! I love listening to Stacey’s commentary. Along with his high-pitched exclamations, he actually also teaches and so he is rather well-rounded. When he was on bereavement leave, it was a pain to watch the telecast (love Bill Wennington…as a player).

    Stacey plays the role of an awed fan watching this prodigy named Rose. If I had court-side tickets, I too will be screaming, “Didn’t you get the memo!!” after a spectacular play.

  • crash corrigan

    Stacey King is very entertaining, but he should steer clear of sounding like a minstrel show.


    It’s not just Stacey King that gets excited during Bulls’ broadcasts, regardless of whether Comcast SportsNet, WGN’s CW9, WGN America or WCIU 26 The U is broadcasting the games. Chuck Swirsky, the second year radio voice up the dial, has quite a gig calling Derrick Rose’s next exciting move. That being said, there are a couple of things I’m getting tired of. First, the Bulls continue to dig early holes vs. the many bad teams in David Stern’s NBA. Second, Keith Bogans scores only 2 points in just over 15 minutes starting alongside Derrick Rose. It’s my understanding that head coach Tom Thibodeau starts Bogans for defense, but if that’s the case, why isn’t he in the games more than the equivalent of a quarter and a few minutes?

    • Mark

      If you listened to the show the other day you would know the answer…

      • Sophist

        not if you tried to listen on the podcast. You would’ve heard the Dennis McKinnon interview for the 5th time.


    In my own opinion, I think Thibodeau is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He starts Bogsns for defense, but Ronnie Brewer is better suited for the bench and Kyle Korver’s not much of a defensive player. There’s another problem that I’m having with the Bulls right now. Their energy has been sorely lacking since Joakim Noah went down with thumb surgery. I know the 76ers, Nets & Bobcats, three of the NBA’s bottom feeders are bad, but don’t tell that to these Bulls. The first year head coach is growing tired of the lack of energy at the start of these games. The Bulls are better than this.

  • Jon, Montgomery

    rose has passed rondo in all-star voting!!! :D

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Good news…let’s keep those votes coming.
      I mean, if any town knows how to swing an election, it’s Chicago!!!

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Various thoughts:
    1. LT is pleading guilty today to two charges in NY.
    2. Seahawks QB Coach is leaving to become OC at the U of Miami…hope that is disruptive.
    3. Both analysts (Peter King and another guy) picked the Bears.
    4. I understand that Bernsie banned national politics from WYC…good.
    5. OK Cubs fans…all shall be well in 2011…you got Reed Mantle back!!!

  • D.O

    What’s with B&B saying Jay Cutler has no personality? Have they listened to the “Inside the NFL” mic’d up Jay vs Buffalo a couple months ago? Jay’s actually kind of funny.

    I think they still have a stream of the mic’d good parts here:

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      Thanks D.O.

      Usually they don’t say Jay doesn’t have a personality, they imply or come right out and say that he is abrasive and/or an @sshat.

      Of course Jay is never the star of any ZZ or LoHo tidbits or nuggets…no sound-bites worth anything for the Score.

      • D.O

        Ah, just on the show right now (streaming), they were saying Jay has no personality. Just seems odd to say that.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      I believe you…I will hear the show on pod, if the effin thing will work.
      I can’t stream at work.

      I believe that you were accurate in reporting what they were saying, I just took it to be a bit of an odd shift for them to have taken.
      They have implied that Jay is a pain, and to shift to just bland seems odd.

      • D.O

        Oh they added the “Jay is an ass” part as well, which I have no opinion on. But then Bernsie also made the point that he lacked any personality and was dull.

        Apparently Forte thinks people don’t really know Jay.

        All in all I don’t really care though, just win! Sometimes I just think the media grasps at straws on certain things.

  • Stu

    Kin’s rehearsed, canned, lame cliches are painful to listen to.

    Much like Bore and Brownstain.

    Any Cubs fiction today, Brownsie?

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    WOW…I just read the Rick Riley article about Cutler on the Booyah website.
    Riley really rips him.

  • AT3374

    Rose moved past Rondo in All Star balloting . Go Bulls

    Oh and in case you forgot

    Bears 46

    Sea Hacks 10

    Ditka …sausages …Ditka

  • D.O

    Wow… I’m finding new respect for Jay. I’ve been googling his “Inside the NFL” mic’d up games. This one is from his probably worst game of his career. 2009 vs the 49ers.

  • Larry Horse's Arse

    Great c.r.a.p. BevBrew.

  • Larry Jones


  • Sophist

    Hey hey: yesterday’s 4 and 5 hour podcasts appear. Credit where credit’s due . . .

    • Curt

      Yes they did….but how about today’s now….It’s 6:45pm and still nothing for today….but everywhere you go on the site you are sure to see an ad pop up and annoy the heck out of you

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live