WASHINGTON — Wizards broadcasts won’t quite be the same after this season.
Phil Chenier, the longtime game analyst seen alongside Steve Buckhantz for the lifespan of the Wizards, who has called basketball games for the franchise since 1984, will not return in that role next season.
Chenier’s contract with CSN, as first reported by Dan Steinberg for The Washington Post, is set to expire this summer and the network has decided to seek a “fresh voice,” Steinberg reports.
Chenier, a former player and NBA champion for the Bullets, will continue to contribute to CSN, as well as Monumental Sports Network and the Wizards, a spokesperson for the network says, and will appear in CSN’s pregame and postgame shows. He will also serve as a second analyst for select games and will contribute to other Wizards content.
“Phil epitomizes professionalism and class as an analyst, colleague, mentor and advocate for the Wizards and the sport of basketball in this region,” said CSN Mid-Atlantic President Rebecca Schulte. “His impact over more than three decades with the network and forty-plus years with the team is unmatched and we look forward to his contributions in new roles with CSN, Monumental Sports Network and the Wizards.”
106.7 The Fan’s Danny Rouhier offered his immediate reaction on the “Grant and Danny Show” as the news crossed.
“This news just broke, or it’s news to me, and I am incredibly upset about this,” Rouhier said. “I am being completely real here. I am really, really annoyed. I am sad. I am angry. I think it’s wrong and I’m really, really ticked off.
“Phil Chenier, 33 years on the Wizards/Bullets broadcast as the color commentator, to me, more Wizards basketball than the actual Wizards. Those guys would come and go and they’ve been God-awful for most of my life. This 47 wins this year is the most they’ve ever had. I tuned in for Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier starting in the mid-80s. I grew up learning basketball on television from Phil Chenier.”
“They don’t need a fresh voice,” he said. “They need Phil Chenier. I hate this. I am very upset about it. You know how passionate I am about the Washington Wizards.”
Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis referred to Chenier in a statement as an “ambassador on the court, over the airwaves and in the community for 42 years” while noting the organization has been “honored to have Phil represent us with the utmost class.”
“We thank him for his unparalleled contributions to our team and his unique ability to maintain relevance and be in tune with multiple generations of our fans over his career as a player and a broadcaster,” Leonsis said. “I look forward to working with him for many years to come as he continues that connection in expanded roles with the Bullets/Wizards Alumni Association and Monumental Sports Network in addition to remaining a key piece of Wizards coverage on CSN.”