If you know anything about the Bucks then you already know Jim Paschke. Jim has teamed with Jon McGlocklin on Bucks' television broadcasts since 1986, in that time becoming a fixture in the Wisconsin sports media through his work covering the Bucks, Brewers, and Marquette (among many others). You can read a lot more about Jim's background here, and of course be sure to read his Paschketball blog over at Bucks.com.
Jim was generous enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to answer some of our questions, which you can read below.
BH: Should we expect any major differences now that Bucks broadcasts have moved full time to FSN?
JP: The resources and manpower that FSN will provide is definitely an upgrade. It will show up in production value. We've already seen numerous examples, for instance, the use of Mark Metcalf who played Niedermeyer in "Animal House" walking through Milwaukee talking about the virtues of the Bucks and the city. It was network caliber material and very entertaining. (Metcalf runs a restaurant in Mequon called Ruby Montana.) Also, with the addition of former Buck Scott Williams, we will get another educated perspective on the Bucks. Scott is a television natural and a fan favorite as he was as a player.
BH: Unlike most every other NBA broadcaster, you've always done much of the behind-the-scenes work for Bucks' broadcasts in addition to calling the games. How does the move to FSN change your role?
JP: I have had a very unique experience as I was responsible for all aspects of 35 Bucks originated telecasts for nine or ten years. This involved producing all of the video material on the telecasts; hiring production crews; lining up productions trucks in the various NBA cities; negotiating and executing satellite transmission contracts; managing graphics creation and development; and overseeing the budgets for the telecasts. I also was responsible for fulfilling league broadcast requirements and working with our production vendor for visiting teams.
Now that FSN has come in, I work as a liaison between the Bucks and FSN, helping to coordinate the television effort. I also continue to fulfill the Bucks broadcast requirements to the league.
I have shifted a lot of my videography and editing work to bucks.com. We have upgraded the site using much more video. I will continue to tell the Bucks story through video and blogging on the web site.
BH: What should fans expect in terms of FSN carrying Bucks games in HD?
JP: I believe FSN has 25 HD games scheduled. Most of these are home games, but we will show several on the road as well. FSN is committed to moving forward as we approach full HD requirements in 2009.
BH: Can you tell us about Scott Williams' new role with the FSN Wisconsin team?
JP: Scott will team with Craig Coshun as the "Bucks Live" pre and post game analyst. He will also contribute during the game telecasts. Scott is also scheduled to fill in for Jon McGlockin on six games this season. Scott worked the last couple of seasons in Cleveland, so he is well versed in live television. He has a nice feel for the game and the entertainment quotient of the FSN broadcasts.
BH: You've had a chance to see some of the NBA's greatest players since you started calling games for the Bucks in 1986. Who's your favorite opposing player to watch today?
JP: I think I enjoy Tim Duncan the most. I appreciate the workmanlike approach from someone with such a high skill level. Tim is extremely consistent and it always seems as if he is effortless in his effort. That in itself is a rare skill. He goes about his business with a stoic quality that would get my attention if I had to face him. This guy just exudes the highest level of professional confidence in himself, which is incredibly intimidating.
BH: The arrival of Yi, a new coach, and a new system have certainly changed the feel of camp this year. As someone with a behind-the-scenes view of the team, what has stood out the most to you about camp this year?
JP:The first thing I noticed in training camp this season is the fact that Larry Krystkowiak is definitely comfortable as a coach and definitely in charge of this team. He has a Scott Skiles / Jerry Sloan demeanor about him (They are all a bit like Tim Duncan). He will never be intimidated and knows exactly who he is and what he wants to accomplish. I doubt that Larry will delegate a lot of authority to assistants. He is definitely a hands on leader and I like that.
Yi has been impressive since I first met him in Chicago when he got off the plane from China. He is also very comfortable in his own skin and with his place in all of this. You might think he's a kid from China who is in awe of everything around him right now, and perhaps a bit stunned. That is not the case. Yi has come to this country on his own, speaks the language, drives a car, has his own place, and appears to be very comfortable. One of the most impressive 20 years olds I have ever met.
He has picked up everything the coaches have told him. His demeanor on the court is Duncan-like. (Are you getting the idea I like that approach?) This is a young man who carries a nation on his shoulders everyday, and he is not phased by that responsibility. In fact, he seems to enjoy it. Star quality with potential super-star ability. His basketball IQ and the ease with which he understands the game are impressive.
BH: One thing that fans rarely see is the social dynamic on a team. It's still early, but what are your impressions of the 07/08 Bucks in that regard? Who are the biggest characters? Who look to be the leaders in the locker room?
JP: Michael Redd is taking on the leadership role, which is certainly his responsibility. He will have a lot of help from Desmond Mason and Mo Williams, the other captains. I think this is a team of great people. They are all very good guys and get along well. They enjoy each other. The way they have all reached out to Yi tells me a lot. They understand his situation and are going out their way to make him comfortable.
Mo Williams knows how to laugh, Desmond gets right in there, and David Noel is a young character, not to mention his dancing ability. Michael Redd plays off everyone pretty well and keeps the characters engaged. Charlie Bell always has a smile for his teammates.
BH: Bobby Simmons has shot the ball very well this preseason, but the team is still being careful not to push him too much and Desmond Mason has started the first three games. What can you tell us about Bobby's progress in coming back, and what are you hoping to see from him this season?
JP: Bobby Simmons has looked very good. He showed that on opening night in Orlando. Bobby is a great shooter and while he would probably prefer to start, I think he will rack up some big numbers as a "go to" guy on the second unit. So far, his heel has been fine. He is an important part of this team.
BH: Who among the lesser-known Bucks made the biggest impression on you this preseason?
JP: I liked what I saw from Ramon Sessions. I think he will be a future contributor. Ramon needs to play every day, so he is probably headed for the D-league which will help him. Michael Ruffin is impressive to me. He is a guy who easily does the dirty little things that make a team better and impact a game. He is a tenacious rebounder and is comfortable with his role. Michael is a great pick-up. I think Royal Ivey's defensive ability will be a major asset.