Jason Benetti Got the First Crack at Filling in for Neil Funk

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Jason Benetti Got the First Crack at Filling in for Neil Funk

Chicago Bulls

There was something different about Wednesday’s Bulls game.

I mean, other than the fact that they held onto a double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter and smoked the heck out of the Hawks on their home floor.

No, I’m talking about the broadcast.

Jason Benetti was on the call with Stacey King for the win, marking the first time this season someone other than Funk called a Bulls game this year. And that’s notable. As you might remember, Funk took on a lighter work load last year and will be on a similar plan again before he retires at the conclusion of this season.

Earlier, the Bulls announced which broadcasters would fill in for Funk as the play-by-play voice in games to be played through September. Here’s how the rest of the schedule will play out:

  • Lisa Byington, Saturday, November 23 at Hornets
  • JB Long, Wednesday, November 27 at Warriors
  • Adam Amin, Friday, November 29 at Trail Blazers
  • Adam Amin, Monday, December 2 at Kings
  • Lisa Byington, Sunday December 8 at Heat
  • Jason Benetti, Monday, December 16 at Thunder
  • Jason Benetti, Wednesday, December 18 at Wizards
  • Mark Schanowski, Saturday, December 21 at Pistons
  • Lisa Byington, Monday, December 23 at Magic

Chicago fans should be familiar enough with all of the broadcasters who will be doing Bulls games in the coming few months, especially since they’ve heard each of them call games before – as recently as last season. Benetti does play-by-play for the White Sox, as well as college football and basketball for ESPN. Amin is also a known voice on ESPN broadcasts, and has even chipped in with some preseason help on Bears games. Schanowski is a long-time sports broadcaster and is an institution on the Chicago sports scene. Byington has experience calling Chicago Sky games in the WNBA and other outlets. Long might not be as familiar with some fans, but has professional experience doing play-by-play for the Los Angeles Rams.

Funk, 72, has called NBA games for 43 years (28 with the Bulls) and was the voice of five title-winning clubs. That type of experience isn’t easy to replace. But the time will soon come for Funk to hand the torch to a voice who will call the action for a new generation. The voice could be one of the broadcasters listed above.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.