Chenier calls last sea­son as Wizards an­a­lyst

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY TODD DYBAS

The same laugh that is heard through tele­vi­sion speak­ers can be heard in the me­dia work room or in the halls of Ver­i­zon Cen­ter when the cam­eras are off.

Phil Chenier has a dis­tinct, deep laugh. For 33 years, it has been heard on Washington Wizards games. Chenier, first a player for the Wizards, be­came their full-time an­a­lyst in 1984, be­gin­ning a run that has en­trenched his name and com­men­tary with the fran­chise and fans.

This will be his last sea­son in the role of pri­mary an­a­lyst. Com­cast Sport­snet Mid-At­lantic has de­cided to change Chenier’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties with the net­work, say­ing Thurs­day that the 66-year-old will work pregame and postgame shows in the fu­ture, plus con­trib­ute “fea­ture con­tent” and at times be a sec­ond an­a­lyst for se­lect games.

Chenier is the only full-time an­a­lyst in Wizards his­tory. The move has pre­dictably pro­duced a large amount of grum­bling across so­cial me­dia and sur­prise among those who have been around the team. The play­ers have of­ten spoke highly of Chenier, and they re­spect his opin­ion since he was a skilled NBA player him­self, not to men­tion per­pet­u­ally pleas­ant to be around.

Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall tweeted “Not the leg­end!” when see­ing the news on so­cial me­dia.

Fans have en­joyed his syn­chronic­ity with play-by-play an­nouncer Steve Buck­hantz. The two shared a rare quality be­tween broad­cast­ing duos: they did not step on each other and in­stead sounded as if they were hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion while watch­ing a game.

CSN said it has iden­ti­fied can­di­dates to re­place Chenier and will hold au­di­tions and make the pick dur­ing the off­sea­son. The com­pany did not spec­ify names, but it’s logical to as­sume for­mer play­ers like Antawn Jami­son, Drew Gooden or Tony Massen­burg, the lat­ter of which al­ready works at CSN, could be part of the au­di­tions.

Chenier was drafted by the Baltimore Bul­lets out of Cal in the 1971 hard­ship draft. He is in the fran­chise’s all-time top 10 in points, games, min­utes, field goals, free throws, as­sists and steals.

“Phil epit­o­mizes pro­fes­sion­al­ism and class as an an­a­lyst, col­league, men­tor and ad­vo­cate for the Wizards and the sport of bas­ket­ball in this region,” said CSN MidAt­lantic Pres­i­dent Re­becca Schulte. “His im­pact over more than three decades with the net­work and forty-plus years with the team is un­matched and we look for­ward to his con­tri­bu­tions in new roles with CSN, Mon­u­men­tal Sports Net­work and the Wizards.”

“We have been hon­ored to have Phil rep­re­sent us with the ut­most class as an am­bas­sador on the court, over the air­waves and in the com­mu­nity for 42 years,” said Mon­u­men­tal Sports & En­ter­tain­ment Founder and Wizards Ma­jor­ity Owner Ted Leon­sis. “We thank him for his un­par­al­leled con­tri­bu­tions to our team and his unique abil­ity to main­tain rel­e­vance and be in tune with mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions of our fans over his ca­reer as a player and a broad­caster. I look for­ward to work­ing with him for many years to come as he con­tin­ues that con­nec­tion in ex­panded roles with the Bul­lets/Wizards Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion and Mon­u­men­tal Sports Net­work in ad­di­tion to re­main­ing a key piece of Wizards cov­er­age on CSN.”

The Wizards were on the road in New York on Thurs­day. Their last reg­u­lar-sea­son home game this sea­son is Satur­day night. Washington has won 47 times, the most since the 1979 team, which Chenier was a part of.


Com­cast Sport­snet Mid-At­lantic says for­mer Washington Bul­lets player and Wizards an­a­lyst Phil Chenier will work pregame and postgame shows in the fu­ture.

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