Q & A With Nets Analyst Jim Spanarkel


One of the most frequent voices fans of the Brooklyn Nets hear during the team’s telecasts is that of Jim Spanarkel. A Duke alumni, Spanarkel was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1979 draft as the sixteenth overall selection. Following his rookie campaign, the Jersey City product was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks. He finished his playing in 1984 following four straight seasons in Dallas.

After retiring, Spanarkel then dove into the industry of sports broadcasting. He has worked for CBS Sports, ESPN and Fox Sports, among others, providing basketball analysis and commentating at collegiate and professional level. For the last 20 years, Spanarkel has been working as an analyst and commentator for the Nets. He has been working for the YES Network since its inception in 2002.

FanSided’s From Russia With Dunk was able to secure a quick Q & A with the respected analyst and receive his opinion on the Nets, the NBA, and his co-workers.

Q: As Brooklyn looks ahead to a new year and the rest of their regular season in 2015 under Lionel Hollins, what must this group do to continue to rise in the Eastern conference standings?

Spanarkel: The Nets need to continue to establish the defensive side of the floor as well as a complete focus on team rebounding.  Both of these areas are constants in the game of basketball. They need to be consistent.  At the offensive end, they need to build consistency with their starters and reserves. 

Q:  Brooklyn fans have witnessed the continued growth of your fellow-former Duke Blue Devil, Mason Plumlee. Where have you seen the most improvement in his game as of late?

A: Clearly his confidence been increasing because of his increased minutes.  He is doing a great job in consistently running the floor and rebounding. The key to his game is not trying to do too much when he is on the court and staying within the frame work of his personal talents.

Q: Looking around the league, which team have you been most impressed with this season?

A: The Warriors have been the most impressive as Steve Kerr has delivered a solid experience for his team without making many changes from last season’s team.

Q: Switching gears a bit now, many players, coaches, and other league executives have recently bemoaned the current length of the NBA season (82 games), including future Hall of Fame coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. Popovich has been a leading critic of the detrimental effects the schedule has on player health and team performance night to night.

As a former player yourself, what would you say about this issue?

A: While the 82 regular season is a long hard season, reducing the schedule would be difficult. Many parts of the equation would have to be examined and researched. Reducing the schedule would most likely mean less revenue for the league and the players.

Q. Finally, you’ve been covering the Nets for over twenty years now. What’s it like to work for the YES Network, along with Ian Eagle, Bob Lorenz, Sarah Kustok, and Ryan Ruocco, a supremely talented broadcasting team?

A. I am lucky to be part of a great network that has a fabulous executive team. Each executive and all members of the broadcast team approach the games as a true TEAM EFFORT. That is why it is so successful.