But I hate him more than I admire him. Upon the very first time I heard him do TV commentaries for the NBA Finals during the Michael Jordan era, it somehow caught my attention about how he, and his usual partner Andy Jao, is such a blabbermouth.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, TV commentators are there to talk about the game but please, side-details should be done every once in awhile. There was this one time back in the Utah-Chicago Finals series, he and Mr. Jao were talking about stuff not related to the game that is happening. Sure, they can talk about having lunch with Karl Malone and his Pinay wife but letâ€™s leave it to that, the “Did You Know?” parts. We donâ€™t need any other details except you guys having such with the Malones. Besides, who cares about that? This is not show business, this is basketball.
Have you ever heard the names of Johnny Stockton, Timmy Duncan, and Stevie Kerr? Only one man (they are actually two) was able to name such players. And that is Mr. Henson (and Mr. Jao). They kept saying those names (except Duncanâ€™s) back in the Jordan era. Oh yeah, donâ€™t forget Scotty Burrell, that Red Bull import last year who was a part of the 96-97 Chicago Bulls championship squad. Enough of the wisecracks! Duncan, a dominant big man, all of a sudden became a puny idiot with that name. He doesnâ€™t even sound like a basketball player and they are not musicians anyway as well.
And the exaggerationsâ€¦how could I forget. I used to dislike Anthony Suntayâ€™s exaggeration with regard to his color commentary during the New Jersey-Los Angeles finals in 2002 but I figured, itâ€™s how he gets the viewers going. At least, he was able to drop it a notch because the more you do it, the more you get the viewers irritated. It is okay to get Americanized with how you speak on TV while the game is on but the talent of color commentary is au naturel. But Mr. Hensonâ€™s is way over the edge. Somebody give him a diazepam to calm him down.
On the flipside, if thereâ€™s one thing I admire about Mr. Henson, it is how he gets the facts straight and tells it to the viewers and readers (of his Phil. Star columns). He is persistent, makes sure he is able to squeeze every single drop of juicy stuff. That is the way how journalists should be. Such a talent and love for journalism is what I envy in the guy. Other than that is how much I like to shut his mouth when he talks in an exaggerated manner, trying to make the moment exciting as if it is such. I almost forgot, how he was screaming during the Morales-Pacquiao II match had one of my eyebrows raised in wonder. That is like the first time I heard a TV commentator scream while saying â€œHe! Is! THE MAN!!!â€. His voice, by the way, sounded like heâ€™s gargling after waking up from a good nightâ€™s sleep.
Talent is what TV broadcasters have and I admire them for that, not being camera-shy or being jittery or not stuttering in the boob tube. The likes of Ed Picson and Sev Sarmenta (even though he always say â€œTenorio says â€˜Iâ€™ll take it to the hole this timeâ€™â€, among others) are more deserving to cover the NBA Finals or any big event in the world of sports. They show class and the way they do their thing is classic. No exaggerations (except Sevâ€™s style in some ways), just plain color commentary. These guys deserve some props and they should be in the forefront of all the commentators.
Mr. Henson, no offense meant, but you should take a cue from the two guys mentioned in the paragraph above.