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Lakers Announcer Shuffle: Team Lets Spero Dedes Get Away

The Lakers announced their announcing crew for the 2011-2012 season today, and one noticeably absent name is Spero Dedes, their radio announcer for six seasons who was expected to take over for Joel Meyers on television this season. Only that didn't happen.

Bill Macdonald, who has worked in just about every capacity with Fox Sports and Prime Ticket for seemingly forever (since 1985, in reality), will be the play-by-play man on television alongside longtime analyst Stu Lantz. On the radio, John Ireland moves from the sidelines to play-by-play, with Mychal Thompson continuing his bizarre hold on a job speaking for a living as the analyst.

The Lakers will have their games televised by Fox Sports West and KCAL for one more season, before moving to a brand new network in the 2012-2013 season. In February, the Lakers signed a 20-year, $3 billion TV deal with Time Warner.

Macdonald has a likeable presence, and could be an improvement from the generic false homerism of Meyers, but the Lakers should have found a way to keep Dedes in the fold. Dedes is the kind of energetic announcer that is inspiring, which is more than I can say for Macdonald and Ireland. Dedes, only 32, is also young enough that he could have been around for years.

It is likely Dedes has found another more lucrative deal, even on the network level. He has worked with CBS Sports as well on football, and is a logical candidate to fill some of the hole left when Gus Johnson left the network earlier this year. But it's a shame the Lakers couldn't have found a way to keep Dedes around.

UPDATE: Tom Hoffarth of the LA Daily News tells us that Dedes will become the new TV play-by-play man for the Knicks, "who will allow him to continue working for CBS on the NFL and college basketball."

UPDATE No. 2: It turns out the Lakers wanted to keep Dedes, per Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register:

Lakers spokesman John Black: "We had a verbal agreement with Spero to be our new TV play-by-play announcer. ... He had a change of heart."

For more news and information on the Lakers, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.