The Los Angeles Lakers have hired longtime Southern California area broadcasters Bill Macdonald (television) and John Ireland (radio) as the team’s play-by-play announcers for the upcoming 2011-12 season.
A four-time local Emmy Award-winning announcer and host, Macdonald will call all televised Lakers games on FS West and KCAL 9 alongside former Laker and long-time color commentator Stu Lantz, who will be entering his 25th season broadcasting Lakers games.
A fixture on FS West/Prime Ticket since its inception in 1985, the versatile Macdonald has broadcast in a variety of capacities for the network over the years as host, field reporter and play-by-play announcer for professional basketball, baseball and hockey among other sports. The current host of FS West’s pre- and post-game shows “Lakers Live,” “Angels Live” and “Ducks Live,” Macdonald has also served as the play-by-play voice for UCLA men’s basketball and football and Los Angeles Avengers football. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Macdonald has filled in as the Angels, Ducks and Kings play-by-play announcer over the years as well as the Lakers play-by-play announcer on both television and radio, most notably calling Kobe Bryant’s historic 81-point game on January 22, 2006.
Ireland, the team’s sideline reporter on KCAL 9 since the 2002-03 season, will call each and every Lakers game on 710 AM ESPN Radio alongside former Laker and two-time NBA Champion Mychal Thompson, who will be entering his ninth season as the Lakers radio color commentator.
Another winner of four local Emmy Awards for best sports reporting, Ireland currently co-hosts the Mason and Ireland Show on 710 AM ESPN Radio while also serving as a regular sports anchor and reporter for the KCBS/KCAL sports team. A UCLA graduate, Ireland’s career path took him to stations in Monroe (LA), Beaumont (TX) and San Diego (CA) before ultimately finding a home at KCAL 9 in 1995. In 1997, Ireland added the Los Angeles Clippers radio play-by-play announcer responsibilities to his resume, working five seasons in all for the team on a fill-in basis before joining the Lakers beat as sideline reporter in 2002. A two-time recipient of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters (SCSB) Irv Kaze Radio Talk Show Host Award, Ireland has also previously filled in on radio play-by-play duties for both UCLA and Lakers basketball games.
Fernando Gonzalez, entering his 15th season as Lakers Spanish play-by-play announcer, and Jose “Pepe” Mantilla, who has served as color commentator for Lakers Spanish broadcasts since 1993, will once again broadcast every game on 1330 ESPN Deportes, the team’s Spanish language flagship.