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Bill MacDonald and John Ireland Are New Lakers Announcers, Spero Dedes to Knicks

The Lakers announced Tuesday that they are making changes to their play-by-play announcing teams on radio and TV. Bill MacDonald, who has been with Fox Sports West since it began in 1985, will be the new TV play-by-play voice, replacing Joel Meyers. Stu Lantz will remain as the team’s television color commentator.

On radio, John Ireland will be the team’s play-by-play voice, joining former Laker Mychal Thompson who is the analyst. Ireland has covered the Lakers as a TV sideline reporter since 2002 and he serves as a talk show host on 710 ESPN Radio in LA. Ireland informed LBS he will continue in his role as co-host of the Mason & Ireland show.

Spero Dedes was expected to become the team’s new TV play-by-play man and replace Meyers. Lakers spokesman John Black said “We had a verbal agreement with Spero to be our new TV play-by-play announcer. … He had a change of heart.” Tom Hoffarth of the LA Daily News reports that Dedes has accepted a job as the Knicks TV play-by-play announcer. Hoffarth adds that Dedes will be allowed to continue his play-by-play duties for CBS. Kevin Ding of the OC Register reports that Dedes wouldn’t have been able to continue with his national jobs if he accepted the Lakers position.

John Ireland Will Walk for Autism Speaks Instead of Cleveland to LA

Late Wednesday night we wrote about KCAL-9 Lakers reporter and KSPN show host John Ireland who said he would quit his job and walk from Cleveland to LA if the Lakers lost to the Cavs. Naturally, the Cavs went on to beat the Lakers 104-99 — the same team that had beat them by 55 in their previous meeting. Like many other people, we wondered how Ireland would handle the situation Thursday, and he addressed it with a settlement he figured was fair.

Instead of walking from Cleveland to LA which is a 2,344 mile journey, Ireland said he would participate in the Autism Speaks walk in April. He pledged $1,000 of his money to the charity and has a goal of raising $2,344 (you can donate here). Additionally, he said he would sponsor five kids to attend Dave Miller’s MVP basketball camp.

So how did the the challenge come about in the first place? Ireland explained it to LBS in an email.

“We have a former NBA and college coach, Dave Miller, who works on our Lakers pre and post shows on 710 ESPN. At the start of the seven game, thirteen day road trip, he said something like ‘the game I worry about is that last one–Cleveland. The Lakers could lose that game.’

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Lakers Host John Ireland Will let Money Talk Instead of Taking Pledged Walk

UPDATE: Ireland addressed his declaration in the first few minutes of Thursday’s show. As you could imagine, he backed out of his promise to quit his job and walk home from Cleveland. Instead, he is pledging $200 for every point the Lakers lost by ($1,000) for the Autism Speaks Walk in April that he will be doing (his goal is to raise $2,344 – you can donate here). He also said he would sponsor five campers for Dave Miller’s MVP camp next year. Here’s the audio of Ireland addressing his promise and his charity plans:

KCAL 9 Lakers reporter and KSPN radio host John Ireland was so confident the Los Angeles Lakers would beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday he declared on the radio he would “quit my job and walk home if the Lakers lose.” Sure enough, after making strong promises like that the Lakers did the unthinkable and lost to the worst team in the NBA 104-99. Just in case Ireland didn’t know the way back to LA from Cleveland, we mapped it out for him:

Ireland, who is a former co-worker of LB and extremely nice guy, was obviously not prepared for the guarantee to blow up in his face. He actually predicted a 13-point Lakers win, so it’s not as if he envisioned a blowout. Ireland said he would return to LA for an event in Manhattan Beach Thursday, then fly back to Cleveland to walk home. At that point he’ll only be a guest on his former show.

Here’s the audio confirmation from the Mason & Ireland Show on Wednesday:

Move’s on you, John. What will it be?