LAS VEGAS – John Crotty is getting his first taste as the Miami Heat’s new TV analyst during summer league, but nobody is going to see it.
Crotty and Heat play-by-play announcer Eric Reid will work four games from the Thomas & Mack Center this weekend, complete with director and producer, as a dry run. The broadcasts are not televised but the audio will be analyzed and scrutinized to help Crotty and Reid prepare for their first season together.
“Chemistry is a big part of what we do on the air,” Crotty said. “I recognized that when I was doing radio as well as in the studio and it will be the same with Eric. This is the first step.”
The two worked the Sacramento-Phoenix and Cleveland-Chicago games at the Las Vegas summer league Saturday. They will work two more contests Sunday. They were unable to do a Heat game because Miami’s first two were in the smaller arena.
The broadcast was as real-life as possible with the director and producer talking in their ear. It just wasn’t on camera.
“It will be more just the cadence of getting used to the back and forth,” said Crotty, who is replacing Tony Fiorentino. The Heat announced in June that 2017-18 would be Fiorentino’s final season in a role he held for 14 years.
Crotty, 48, has worked as the radio analyst for 12 years alongside play-by-play man Mike Inglis, mostly for home games, and as a TV studio analyst for six years. The Heat have not named a TV studio analyst to replace Crotty.
Crotty also has some experience doing television as a college analyst for Fox.
“I feel like I’ve done a little bit of every medium,” Crotty said. “The difference will be since everything’s on the air, I don’t have to help describe the action. Now it’s more about the how and why it happened. Why did the guy get open to take that shot? And maybe, too, describe the strategies that are taking place by both teams and maybe why a certain trend is working more on the court or why a particular play is working.
“That will be the fun part for me and hopefully I can articulate it in a way that people understand and find interesting.”
Crotty also will bring the player perspective after spending 11 years in the NBA, including 1996-97 with the Heat, and having experienced every emotion from being a rotation player to having to survive on a 10-day contract.
“I have a lot of different perspectives I think I can bring to the broadcast,” Crotty said.