When news broke this week that the Wizards could be moving on from longtime play-by-play announcer Steve Buckhantz after the season, fans were stunned. Utterly dumbfounded.
For the last 22 years, Buckhantz has been an institution in D.C. sports. His 'dagger' calls put the button on every game-winning shot and are en essential part of this town's lexicon. His voice is as much a part of what few great Wizards moments there have been in the past two decades as the players who made them happen on the court.
Change first came two years ago, when Phil Chenier, Buckhantz's broadcast partner through his first 20 years, was pushed out the door in a similarly shocking manner. Now, it seems, the hook is coming for Buckhantz, too.
"This is a dagger."
"And now apparently they're going to do the same thing with Buck, for reasons that probably none of us will ever understand. Change for the sake of change. Maybe they think they can make a splash with another play-by-play person. Maybe they want to create the first all-women's team doing an NBA team, because Zach Leonsis will think that's really a cool thing or something."
"Putting aside the fact that Steve is one of the best in the business," he said, "the way they've treated two guys now, who have been incredibly loyal to the franchise – in Phil's case, for 40 years; in Buck's case, 22 – is just stunningly embarrassing. The Leonsises should be embarrassed, but I'm sure they're not."