Washington Wizards: The Steve Buckhantz Era is Over

Washington Wizards Steve Buckhantz (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Steve Buckhantz (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After 22 great years, Steve Buckhantz will not be returning to the both for the Washington Wizards.

The NBA offseason has been full of mostly good to great news for Washington Wizards fans. It was almost too good to be true. A franchise buried under its own incompetence during recent years actually looked to have a plan through the draft and free agency. Things seem to be going as good as they can be for a team destined for lottery contention this season. All things considered, it’s been a solid offseason for the Wizards.

That was until last night. Now, what many of the Wizards faithful have been fearing for months finally has some reporting behind it. According to Scott Allen of The Washington Post,  Steve Buckhantz will no longer be calling games for the Washington Wizards. Justin Kutcher of FOX Sports is expected to replace him.

After 22 years of calling games, this news marks the end of an era in Wizards basketball. Few, if any, are celebrating the report of a new play by play announcer in DC.

The impressive moves made by Tommy Sheppard and the rest of the Wizards organization this offseason that has helped regain some trust from the fans. This decision, however, seems to be undoing it all. Especially given the fact that Buckhantz, himself, expressed a desire to return to the booth. The Grunfeld era was a good one to end. The Buckhantz era, though, should have been kept alive.

Back in May, during an interview with The Washington Post, Buckhantz had this to say about his time in the booth: “I’d like to think I’ve made an impact in this market after 35 years.”

There’s no doubt he made his impact. Simply hop over to Twitter, search “Steve Buckhantz,” and you’ll find an outpouring of love form every corner of the internet. On social media, where people seem to love to assign blame and revel in the negative, nobody has a bad word to say about Buckhantz. Nobody.

In his time calling games, Buckhantz became more than an announcer. To Wizards fans, he was more than a knowledgeable talking head that provided mere insight and explanation. No. Steve and Phil Chenier for that matter became fixtures of the game no different than the players, coaches, referees, or crowd noise. Their commentary wasn’t in addition to the action on the screen. It was part of it. And sometimes, given the product the Wizards were putting on the floor, it was the best part of it.

That’s why the Buckhantz news sucks. Even though we all learned this could be a possibility months ago when Buckhantz’s contract was not renewed, it wasn’t definite. Now it’s actually here. Now we have to say goodbye.

Next. Revisiting the terrible Kelly Oubre for Trevor Ariza trade. dark

After letting Chenier go in 2017 after 33 years as the color commentator, Kutcher’s replacement of Buckhantz marks the end of an era in Wizards basketball. Let’s be honest. It’s an era that won’t be remembered for the banners the Wizards hung (zero for those of you counting at home), nor will it be remembered for the jerseys that end up in the rafters (although John Wall and Bradley Beal might get there).

Instead, we’ll remember it for the friends we made along the way. Friends like Steve Buckhantz. Because we’re not just saying goodbye to an announcer. We’re all saying goodbye to a friend.

Thanks for everything.