Dave Pasch has agreed to a multi-year extension with ESPN, The Big Lead has learned. Pasch, who has been with the network since 2003, is a staple on NBA, college basketball and college football broadcasts, and will be on the call for Game 3 of the Milwaukee Bucks-Boston Celtics Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday afternoon.
"Nothing's guaranteed and there are no givens," Pasch told TBL. "You're only as good as your last broadcast. So when a company like ESPN is interested in retaining your services, whether you've been there for a month or almost two decades, which is the case for me, I'm grateful and don't take it for granted. I know that sounds like a clichè stock answer, but it's true. When you get a chance to do high-level games and they're saying, 'Hey, we want you to do this for more years to come,' it's nice to be wanted."
Pasch, who became the radio voice of the Arizona Cardinals a year before joining ESPN, is versatile and malleable, and holds the distinction of sitting within Bill Walton's blast radius on Pac-12 broadcasts. He likened his diverse array of assignments to opening up a new Christmas gift each week and the challenges and rewards that come with working alongside many different partners and teams.
One of the veteran voice's best traits is his pliability, as he's able to go from the Walton broadcast to one with Hubie Brown or J.J. Redick, who has been next to him on the first three assignments of his own career.
"I think when you're younger, you're so focused on yourself, you're so focused on getting the stories you want to get in and pleasing your bosses. I think as you grow confident in your ability and your employer shows confidence in you, you start to think how you should think, which is, 'How do I make the producer the best he or she can be?' or, 'How do I make the analyst the best that he or she can be?'"
While many play-by-play voices shy away from giving their opinion or questioning calls or strategy completely, Pasch stands out by seeking it out. It's a trait he admired in Sean McDonough that he's incorporated into his repertoire.
"I feel like that's part of the job," he says. "So I'm constantly doing that because if I want to know about it, I have to think the fan at home wants to know. And it may not always be an opinion that's shared by the viewer, but at least I'm getting the viewer to think. That's part of the documentation of the game."
"I just hoped to do play-by-play as part of my career," he says. "I didn't know at what level. I never thought I would get to a level where I was doing national games or NFL games and now this will be Year 21 with the Cardinals and Year 19 with ESPN so the fact that they're willing to continue having me do it for years to come, I'm grateful and at times pinch myself."