Mark Jones of ESPN was officially named Friday as the Sacramento Kings’ new play-by-play announcer, per a release from the team. Jones is one of the best national announcers for the NBA and college football, so this is quite the coup for the franchise.
The Sacramento play-by-play role was most recently occupied by Gary Gerould during the NBA restart. Gerold was a short-term replacement for Grant Napear, but the Kings finally have their new permanent announcer.
Jones will be calling games with Doug Christie, who will remain as the color commentator for NBC Sports California. ESPN will still have the ability to bring in Jones for prominent national games, during with the Kings will have a substitute broadcaster alongside Christie. This is a common arrangement around the NBA, one utilized by Mike Breen with the Knicks and Ian Eagle with the Nets, among others. The Kings have yet to announce who that substitute will be, but Jones will likely handle about 80 percent of the games.
Previously, the splashiest media hiring of the offseason had been the Bulls bringing in Adam Amin, but Jones far surpasses that. He is a 30-year ESPN vet who should bring a new level of professionalism and insight to the Kings broadcast. Jones also isn’t the only member of his family taking his talents to northern California, as his daughter is also beginning her basketball career at San Jose State this season.
The Kings shared some of Jones’ best calls to celebrate his hiring, and this a fun video to end your week with.
It’s been a productive offseason for the Kings thus far. It remains to be seen if any of the work they’ve done to improve the franchise will manifest itself on the court and in the team’s record, but there’s a lot to be happy about nonetheless. Whenever the team starts playing next year, the games will at least be an enjoyable listen.