Would Ian Eagle and Chris Carrino prefer that the Nets not be the worst team in the NBA? Well, yes.
Winning is more fun than losing, not only for coaches, players and fans but also for the television and radio play-by-play men who describe the action.
But both insisted before Wednesday night’s Heat-Nets game at Barclays Center — in which the Nets coughed up an 18-point lead and lost, 109-106, to fall to 9-36 — that it is business as usual no matter what the standings say.
“It doesn’t change the approach to the job,” said Eagle, who is set to call 53 games on YES Network this season. “You still prepare the same way. You’re still putting in the same amount of energy and enthusiasm.
“Announcers are undefeated. No wins, but no losses, either. As far as the preparation, approach, it’s the same — truly. I still try to picture in my mind what the viewer needs and if there’s an exciting play on the court, even if it’s by the opponent, you have to be the conduit to bring that excitement to the viewer. That doesn’t change at all, never has, in all the years of doing it.
“When the team is winning there’s a different vibe in covering the games, in traveling with the team. You develop close relationships and you want to see the people you like do well, but as far as the job itself, no, it doesn’t change the job.”
Said Carrino, referring to himself and analyst Tim Capstraw, “I think we both look at it like it’s still a dream job. We get to watch games and talk about it on the radio, and voice our opinions and get to watch live NBA games. So I think if you always remind yourself of that, you look forward to coming to work every day.
“The team’s good, the team’s bad, the game’s good, sometimes the game will be bad, but you get to see exciting opponents. Sometimes a player on the Nets will have a great night. You show up at the arena and you never know what you’re going to get.
“We saw that in New Orleans the other night, where they put up 143 points and the team played with great spirit, and you’re able to get excited and dig into a game. That’s what keeps you going.
“Listen, I’ve gone to the NBA Finals and I’ve gone through a 12-win season. I’ve run the gamut of emotions with this team. But you still remind yourself that this is fun; this is entertainment . . . We don’t sugarcoat it. I can’t tell a fan it’s good when it’s bad, or they’re not going to believe you when it’s good.”