Portland Trail Blazers television analyst Lamar Hurd opened up to Demi Lawrence of the Portland Business Journal about his experience covering the Blazers, his admiration of Damian Lillard, and his take on this summer’s controversy about the team possibly keeping broadcasters at home to cover road games remotely. The Blazers have since rescinded those plans, but Hurd indicated to Lawrence that he was not against the possibility in the first place.
Hurd told Lawrence that remote broadcasts were actually more “doable” than most fans believe. He indicated that the initial remote attempts, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, were bare bones, but that within a few months they had more options in place and a better product:
Last season, in January and February, we actually did several remote games, and not everybody remembers that, and a big reason is because some of those things that were problems in 2020 like the audio and no crowd, that wasn’t a problem last season. So I think it became very apparent that “Oh, this is doable, and it’s not as bad as it may seem from the outside.”
He also talked about his personal experience broadcasting remotely:
Here’s something I don’t think anybody knows, but when we do games remotely, we have a screen in the studio that shows the inside of that arena that the team is playing at. So we have the screen that people see on TV, and then we have a continual, nonstop viewpoint of everything we need to see in the arena.
Traveling doesn’t ensure a better technical way to do the job for me. When we’re at the studio, it’s a very comfortable situation. We have space, we have our computers if we need them, our iPads, we have things laid out that you can’t do when we travel because we’re jammed in the places at each arena.
Hurd also shared his impressions from watching Lillard for the last six seasons with the Blazers:
On the basketball side of things, it’s crazy watching him play and do a lot of the things he does. Just simply the distance that he shoots from, and it’s not like the shots he gets are a lot of shots created from other people, he’s doing this off the dribble which is harder than catching and shooting. He’s literally shooting from 35 feet, 40 feet, and not just shooting from there but shooting a crazy percentage and making them.
It never gets old for me, I see it all the time, and every time I see it there’s a great appreciation just from having played. I know how long that shot is, I know how tough that move is. He’s really an incredible player, he’s just so consistent.
The interview has far more from Hurd about his own journey into broadcasting, about Lillard, and about Hurd’s Portland connection.