Bob Rathbun – Hawks Announcer & Full Time Victim

NBA Announcer Bob Rathbun appears to live in a delusional world in which his Atlanta Hawks are perennial victims to nefarious, plotting forces rather than a team that just gets beat.

Sport / , ,

8 March 2012



Chance and I were excited settle on the couch and watch a little Miami Heat basketball last night. We don’t have an NBA cable package so each time we can watch the team is special to us.

We picked up the Hawks broadcast through Fox Sports South. I’ve lived away from Miami for a few years now. Watching games from the opposing team’s home network usually means a few marginally biased comments. Last night’s play-by-play by Bob Rothbun was something I hadn’t experienced before.

The Hawks played the Heat tight – taking advantage of an overall dismal Heat performance. Bob Rathbun however felt the need to paint the contest into some sort of David vs. Goliath affair in which the lowly Hawks not only were competing against one of the best teams in the league, but against one of the best teams in the league with help from the refs. Some of the more salient examples include:

  • Blaming the officiating for a lack of first half free-throw opportunities
  • Accusing LeBron James of inciting a technical foul
  • Blaming the officiating for a lack of three-second calls against the Heat offense
  • Accusing numerous Heat players of ‘traveling’ something that is largely not called in the NBA home team or visitors

I understand the need to align with the home team and portray an ‘Us vs. Them’ tone – but the nauseating victim stance that Bob Rathbun took during last night’s broadcast was too much. Looking at the NBA Playoff standings today, there seems a good chance that Miami may have an opportunity to play the Hawks. I hope this happens and I hope I get a chance to listen to Bob Rathbun whine some more as his Hawks get thrashed by the Heat.

PS – nothing against ‘Nique – I appreciate his insight and am happy for him being a Hawks VP.


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