The NBA features an incredible pool of talented announcers, past and present who have lent their extraordinary insights into the game.

The great announcers understand the inner-mechanics of basketball, and their commentary is appreciated and revered by tens of millions of adoring fans the world over.

Our growing community of basketball fans is eager to get the 411 on the best NBA announcers of all time.

If you listen closely, you may even pick up a few tips for the top NBA spreads from these guys.

No doubt they can ramp up the action while you’re watching your favorite games on screen, whether it's March Madness, the NBA All-Star Games, The NBA Play-Offs, or the NBA Slam Dunk Contests.

Best NBA Commentators - Basketball Announcers:

These announcers can get you into the swing of things with all the hoopla on court!

Depending on where you go, there are different systems used to rank NBA announcers. On social media sites you’re bound to find the likes of Ian Eagle, Kevin Harlan, and Mike Breen among the top-tier national NBA announcers.

Other folks like Mark Jones, Dave Pasch, Brian Anderson, and Ryan Ruocco routinely come into the reckoning too.

But how do we rank NBA announcers? Is it based on which sports TV networks employ them? The games they commentate on? Their extensive experience? Fan rankings?

Truth be told, it's a combination of all of these factors and we are about to let you in on the best NBA announcers of all time.

Many sports networks, basketball magazines, and social media sites routinely poll fans about their preferred announcers. The rankings will change from season to season, based on a host of factors.

Many announcers work in crews – it's hardly ever a solo effort. These top analysts earn a handsome payday from their networks, and for good reason. They do important work for basketball fans. Now, let's get to the meat of it – the top NBA announcers.

Michael Wilbon

Here's a guy who knows his stuff. He works for ESPN as an NBA studio analyst, and columnist. He remains one of most outstanding authorities in sports journalism, and his commentary is well received and respected the world over.

He co-hosts ESPN's pardon the interruption, and he worked for the Washington Post for 31 years, before leaving to join ESPN. This guy is a titan!

Mike Breen

He has been active since 1991, and has worked on multiple networks including TNT, ESPN, MSG Network, and ABC. His team is the New York Knicks.

In 2019, it was estimated that he earned $500,000 a year working for the NBA on multiple TV networks. Incidentally, Mike Breen received the 2020 Curt Gowdy Media Award for significant contributions to the game of basketball.

Marv Albert

Yikes! What a guy! He’s had a few snafus in his personal life, but his NBA commentating skills are pretty darn good. He was fired by NBC in 1997 after a law suit but he rebuilt his career after being rehired 2 years later.

He became the leading play-by-play commentator for the NBA, and he is regarded as the de facto ‘voice of the NBA’ by scores of fans.

His basketball knowledge spans decades, and his experience is extraordinary. It is unlikely that he will stick around much longer with Turner Sports, given that he's already heading towards his 80s.

Charles Barkley

He's one of the funniest guys out there and worthy of mention.

True to form, he can veer off course during his broadcasts, but he's so well scripted in funny stories, quotes, and honorable mentions that you've got to love the guy. Maybe not the best, but definitely worthy of special mention.

Jeff Van Gundy

As a basketball coach and commentator for ESPN, Van Gundy became an analyst for ESPN's broadcast of the Phoenix Suns-San Antonio Spurs game.

Since then he's been a regular fixture for ESPN. He gives plenty of play-by-plays alongside legendary announcers like Mark Jackson and Mike Breen, and he has also commentated on the NBA finals.

Bill Walton

What a champ! Here's a guy who surprises audiences every time he speaks. His off-the-cuff commentary is exactly what the fans want. He makes it up as he goes along, and he makes sense with what he's saying.

At some points, Bill Walton sounds like the oracle of basketball, and sometimes he’s simply amusing. For all of his quirkiness, Bill Walton is great addition to the NBA announcer scene.

NBA Announcers - Best NBA Commentators

Folks, we could go on ad infinitum with some of the greatest ever NBA announcers.

There are folks like Steve Kerr, Jack Armstrong, Matt Devlin, Dan Shulman, Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, Malik Rose, Mark Jackson, Mike Fratello, Ian Eagle, Chick Hearn, and others.

Yup, you know these guys well. One thing's for sure - with the right announcers on the scene, NBA is so much better!

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*Image provided courtesy of Marv Albert and ELISE AMENDOLA


FIRST PUBLISHED: 15th February 2020

About the Author
Brett Chatz

Brett is an internationally published sports journalist, political analyst, and medical fiction author. His commentary is seen in The Star, The Citizen, Tampa Bay Times, The Street, The Sowetan, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Independent, and across hundreds of online and print media platforms. He is the author of ‘Cricket Chatz’ and the highly-acclaimed, ‘Serum’. 

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