Longtime friends Vitale, Brown to call first game together
Dick Vitale gets to experience a pair of rarities Tuesday night — he will call a game with Hubie Brown and he will be the junior analyst.
The longtime friends will be paired on a broadcast for the first time when ESPN airs second-ranked Duke’s game against Boston College. It is part of ESPN’s “NBA/College Basketball Crossover” event that the network has done for six years.
Brown, who was a Duke assistant from 1969-72, will see the Blue Devils for the second straight year. He had last season’s game against Virginia Tech with Jay Bilas and Mark Jones. The difference this time is that Brown will call a game where three of Duke’s players could be among the first 10 players selected in June’s NBA draft, including freshman phenom Zion Williamson.
“We haven’t seen a player with this much publicity in a while,” Brown said Monday. “His athleticism, jumping ability and explosiveness off the dribble are amazing, plus he is developing a perimeter game.”
Vitale and Brown grew up less than 20 miles apart in New Jersey and have known each other more than 50 years. They opposed each other as coaches in high school, college and, later, the NBA when Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and Brown the Atlanta Hawks.
Vitale has long admired Brown and said he was doing analytics before anyone else.
“It is going to be fun,” Vitale said. “We’ll get to share some stories. We both have different styles but we have an incredible passion for the game.”
ESPN announcer Dan Shulman told Vitale on Monday that for once Vitale will be the “diaper dandy” on the broadcast. Brown is 85 and Vitale is 79.
Bilas, who is part of the network’s draft coverage, will be on Wednesday’s Washington-Milwaukee game.