October 9, 2008 11:44 PM
Announcer Schemmel takes a break
By Chris Tomasson
Rocky Mountain News
Nuggets fans this season could find themselves missing an old friend.
At least some of the time.
Jerry Schemmel, the Nuggets' radio play-by-play man since 1992, is taking a step back. In order to spend more time with his family, Schemmel, 48, will do only home games this season.
"It was an opportunity for me to spend more time at home,'' Schmmel wrote in an e-mail. "My kids are now 9 (son Ryan) and 16 (daughter Maggie) and heavily involved in athletics. I found myself missing most of their events and wanted to find a way to be there more. I had to take a pretty major pay cut, but I think it's worth it.''
In addition, Schemmel, who counts baseball as one of his loves and in the summer of 2007 broadcast the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League, has a sports pursuit of his own he wants to follow.
"I have been helping coach the baseball team at Metro State and this will allow me more involvement there as well,'' he wrote.
Schemmel is one of the best in the NBA. I vividly recall on Dec. 16, 2006 how he objectively described the brawl between the Nuggets and New York during a game I was not at and was listening to on my car radio.
While Schemmel, like all team-employed announcers, more often than not provides a Nuggets slant, this was not a time for any announcer to be influenced by who signs his paycheck. And Schemmel apparently wasn't. He painted a fair picture of both teams being at fault during the brawl, and accurately predicted that Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, who would get 15 games, was staring a possible double-digit game suspension.
Schemmel, who will do any road playoff games this season, said he will reevaluate next summer how he would like to handle broadcasting duties in 2009-10. He said Altitude Sports CEO Matt Hutchings was "awesome in working'' with him on his current arrangement.
For now, Jason Kosmicki will handle play-by-play duties for Nuggets preseason and regular-season road games. His first stint this season will be at Saturday's outdoor preseason game against Phoenix in Indian Wells, Calif.
"The team with the best outside shooters will win,'' said Kosmicki, already warming up with some quips for the historic game.
Meanwhile, Schemmel might just be outside himself Saturday, watching his kids in some athletic pursuit.