The Brooklyn Nets dominated the Atlanta Hawks 127-110 in London in a game featuring the NBA's Global Games initiative, but there was another dominant performance in the broadcast booth, by play-by-play man Ian Eagle and color commentator Jim Spanarkel.

The two sent each other into fits of laughter on numerous occasions throughout the game, usually with weirdly injected and often misused British slang. This wasn't canned broadcaster laughter; this was genuine. It was over-the-top ("what if I called you a wanker?"), it was silly ("RIGHT IN THE NOGGIN!"), it was endearing ("This guy can dance!" "Jimmy, if the fans are not seeing it, you can't really refer to it. I know you've been in television for a while."), and it was everything we've come to expect from the Eagle-Spanarkel tandem: informative, off-beat, and hilarious.

On a related note, Eagle recently won the award for New York State Sportscaster of the Year.


Nets play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle, dealing with Mike Fratello's shenanigans.

For the third episode of The Brooklyn Game Podcast, I sat down with Brooklyn Nets play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle for 38 delightful, all-encompassing minutes. We talked about the Nets, the playoff series, the future of the team, what he hates most about Mike Fratello, and so much more.

To give you an idea of the conversational direction, I've included timestamps below. Enjoy.

Introducing Ian Eagle: "Sloan Paper Proposal: Podcast Percentage"
Traveling & Preparation: Play By Play Across The Country
Nets-Bulls: Game 3, Finding A Sense of Identity
The Rotation, Gerald Wallace & Reggie Evans: Does the lineup need adjustment?
On: Billy King
Reminder: Mikhail Prokhorov is very tall, Ian & Devin disagree on his basketball talent
P.J. Carlesimo's future with Brooklyn and the playoff test
Ian's favorite city to eat in leads to a sad love story that uses the word "fajita" multiple times
Ian espouses on what's different about the NBA today from when he started, and why he doesn't have a Twitter account
"What if all of my dreams had crumbled coming out of Syracuse?"
"What is the thing you hate most about Mike Fratello?"
The hilarious truth behind Mike Fratello's rorschach drawings
Conclusion: psychology, fortitude, adjustments, Spanarkel's jealousy

Download link HERE: Episode 3: Ian Eagle (Go to the menu and click "Save Page As")


Ian Eagle won a New York Sports Emmy for "On-Camera Talent: Sports Play-By-Play" this weekend, in honor of his work from the 2011-12 season. Eagle somehow made a 22-44 team that played Shelden Williams and Johan Petro over 2,000 minutes combined interesting and engaging the entire season when he was on the call. We at The Brooklyn Game have a partnership with YES Network, but even casting that aside, I've thought Ian was the best in the biz for a long, long time.

In honor of winning the Emmy this weekend, we've assembled a compilation of our favorite Ian Eagle moments this season. Enjoy, and congrats to Ian from all of us here at The Brooklyn Game.


Ian Eagle

Ian "Birdman" Eagle

Nets veteran play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle won a New York Emmy in the category "On-Camera Talent: Sports Play-by-Play"  at the 56th Annual New York Emmy Awards Gala Sunday night.

"The Bird" beat out fellow YES announcer and Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay, MSG's Mike Breen and SNY's Gary Cohen for the award. The award commemorates Eagle's work for all of last season.  This is Eagle's second New York Emmy, having won in 2002 for for his work on Madison Square Garden Network’s telecast of the Pacers/Nets Game 5 of the 2002 NBA playoffs.

After only one year as the radio voice of the Nets as a 24 year-old in 1994, Eagle became the Nets play-by-play announcer for telecasts the following season, a position he has held for the past 18 years. The Syracuse grad is known for his upbeat personality, extensive knowledge of basketball and razor sharp wit.

A shining example of this broadcasting acumen came in December at a Nets home game against the Pistons with comedian Jerry Seinfeld in attendance. After Joe Johnson buried a triple at the buzzer in double OT to win, the camera panned to Seinfield.  Eagle then seamlessly said, "That was real...and that was spectacular!" a reference to a popular episode of "Seinfeld."

Eagle is one of the hardest working professionals in sports broadcasting, calling everything from collegiate basketball to tennis and  football. From his YES Network bio:

"In addition to football, Eagle has called the NCAA Tournament for CBS for the past 15 years, the Army/Navy football game, boxing, and anchored the “Sportsdesk” and “At the Half” at CBS Sports. Eagle also handled English-language play-by-play for the international telecasts of the NBA Finals in 1995-98, and has worked the Masters and PGA Championships for CBS/Direct TV.

Eagle broadcast the NBA Playoffs for NBATV from 2003-2008, and for TNT in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He has also handled play-by-play for the NCAA Track and Field Championships on CBS and currently on ESPN, and the French Open for Tennis Channel. He has covered the last nine US Open tournaments for CBS, and was the voice for the Sony PSP 2010 NBA video game with Kenny Smith. From 2005-2008, Eagle hosted a variety of shows on SIRIUS Satellite Radio, including “Full Court Press” and ‘The Phil Jackson Show”. Eagle is also a play-by-play man for Westwood One Radio working its Thursday Night NFL broadcasts and the NCAA Tournament Regional Finals."

From all of us at The Brooklyn Game, congrats Ian! We would love to buy you some sizzling hot fajitas sometime to celebrate this milestone.


We at The Brooklyn Game strive to give you the finest blend of news and analysis on the Brooklyn Nets that you can find anywhere. Sometimes that's delving deep into lineup analytics to see what players perform best with Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, and Joe Johnson. Sometimes that means looking at protests around Barclays Center labor disputes and animal cruelty. Sometimes that means mourning the lost Nets PR Twitter account.

And sometimes, it means grooving with Ian Eagle. Enjoy your evening (or morning), everyone.


For some reason this is just very funny to me. These two are just so good together.

I think it's because Ian guesses what it is before there's any semblance of a drawing there. He starts the word "sizzling" before the lines even come up on the bottom. Someone get that man a sandwich.


The phrase “Fugazi” – Mafia slang for “fake tough guy” per the movie Donnie Brasco – should be a familiar one to long-term Nets fans. Following a game 2 Nets demolition of the Manhattan Knicks during the 2004 NBA Playoffs, then-Knick Tim Thomas, injured by a hard foul from Nets center Jason Collins, referred to Collins’ teammate Kenyon Martin – long considered the heart, soul and tenacious grit of the back-to-back finals team – as a “Fugazi.” Martin, ever the diplomat, said he would welcome being locked in a room with Thomas to see who would emerge in one piece. That surprisingly did very little to quiet the heat between the Nets and Knicks.

What I’ve always found preposterous about Thomas’ words was the fact that Martin’s tough guy act helped his team win, and only went on to emblemize in that playoff series how much more battle-tested and prepared the Nets were than the Knicks –- a team that had taken a punch and essentially refused to fight back. If Jason Kidd hadn’t suffered a debilitating knee injury in the second round of that postseason, the Nets and their “Fugazi” spirit probably would have made a third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. There was nothing "fake" about Martin and those Nets.

Of course the reason why I’m fixated on “Fugazi” today is based on last night’s Brooklyn Nets victory in Boston over the Celtics. The Celtics, who are only a few months removed from taking the Miami Heat to a competitive fourth quarter of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, put on a clinic in “Fugazi” last night... MORE →


Mike Fratello Ian Eagle

Ian "Yeezy" Eagle (right) not lettin' Mike Fratello finish

Yes, we're back in the podcast game!

For The Brooklyn Game's first-ever podcast, I'm very happy to say that I spent some time chatting with Ian Eagle, YES Network announcer, voice of the Brooklyn Nets, and the only man I know that can make a mundane basketball phrase like "the pull-up pop" sound like a cool breeze on a warm summer day.

In our 25-minute sitdown, Ian and I chatted about the new team, the re-branding, and our terrifying elementary school flashbacks.

We also, near the end, talked about the anticipation surrounding the team on November 1st, and since we had this chat earlier this week, we had no idea that the game was going to be cancelled. So depending on relevance, just shift that part of your brain over to Saturday/whenever the game gets rescheduled for, and our discussion will make more sense.


Brooklyn Nets pronunciations

Posted on: October 25th, 2012 by Devin Kharpertian Comments


I referred to Deron Williams as “Der-RON” and someone corrected me that it was DER-on. Any other pronunciation issues I should watch out for if I want to seem like a sophisticated Brooklyn Nets fan?

... MORE →