Earlier this summer, I asked Warrior fans via Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms what changes with the Warriors would they like to see happen immediately.  The response was overwhelming as fans from all over the globe voiced their thoughts and opinions on what needed to be changed first.  One of the biggest changes fans wanted to see was replacing Warriors TV play-by-play man, Bob Fitzgerald.  Fitzgerald has been with the Warriors for close to two decades now and it seems as though fans have started to grow tired of hearing his overtly “homer” voice on Warriors telecasts.

The criticism for Fitzgerald runs deeper than just his on-air work with the Warriors.  His daily talk show on KNBR rubs people the wrong way as its filled with condescending humor, constant reluctance to talk about the Warriors and when the Warriors are discussed  its done so in only a “positive” or “glowing” manner.  So, What gives?

More than one source has told me they believe the Warriors are paying Fitzgerald’s KNBR salary. That would certainly make sense. On the one hand, it saves KNBR from paying a six-figure salary to one of its on-air talents, and on the other, it assures that the Warriors will get a three-hour infomercial under the guise of sports talk from noon-to-3.

A source says “If that’s the case (that the Warriors are paying Fitzgerald for his radio show), that’s a real close ethical call. Particularly if it’s not being disclosed.”

This is damning information as it solidifies the belief of Fitzgerald being nothing more than a company shill who will spout and shape whatever message the team wishes to convey. As the source says “It’s one thing for everyone to know Fitzgerald is a homer, it’s another if people find out his three-hour show is nothing more than an infomercial that the Warriors pay for.”

Calls to KNBR were not returned.

Other anecdotes regarding Fitzgerald:

  • He received a 3-yr contract extension from the Warriors not too long ago.  As the source explains “Fitzgerald got his contract extension due to his relationship with Robert Rowell as neither Tim Roye nor Jim Barnett received a contract extension.  Roye and Barnett have been given one year contracts for the past 5 seasons.”  The fact that Fitzgerald parlayed his personal friendship with Rowell should come as no surprise as there were other members of the Warriors organization who received contract extensions based on their relationships with Rowell.  The source states “Two or three day before sale was announced, a few real high-ups at Warriors (Travis Stanley, Neda Kia and Ben Shapiro)all got promotions and extensions.”
  • Fitzgerald is a known violator of the unwritten rule in media which frowns upon fraternizing with players and coaches on the team charter.  As a Warriors player told me, “Fitzgerald is always trying to talk to us on the plane and telling us how he’s got our back when it comes to making sure the right things are said and mentioned about us on-air.”  This is interesting as its a known Fitzgerald trait to talk glowingly about players while they’re with the Warriors and rip them the moment they head elsewhere.
  • I asked a former Warriors player his thoughts on Fitzgerald and he replied “Who’s that? Is that the TV guy? He’s always trying to be our friend and we’re like whatever man, just get lost.”.  The need to be “one of the boys” seems to be a pressing issue for Fitzgerald as he seems hellbent on being accepted and deemed “cool”.

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35 Responses

  1. Eric Webster

    Bob is a tool, i turn the channel after Gary.

  2. Clifton

    Hey “Just Me,”

    You have an interesting take on the negotiations that led to Fitzgerald taking Papa’s job.
    Maybe you’re Fitz’s sibling or something. Or maybe you’re Fitz himself. We know he likes to post on Warrior fan sites. It was in fact a very sleazy deal, and Fitz bascially went behind Papa’s back (and Papa was allegedly his friend/mentor) to cut the deal with Cohan and Papa was stunned by the betrayal. Everybody who follows the Warriors closely knows the story, and Fitzgerald will never be able to live it down with the fans because it showed what kind of human being he is. I’ll put it this way: Chris Cohan was like Dean Wormer in Animal House, and Fitz was his Greg Marmalard. Funny how I never see that balding, gel-head (aka “Flunkster Dude”) on Pappa’s Chronicle Live show. Guess they haven’t patched things up, and they likely never will. How could Papa ever forgive such an act of deceit? At some point, Fitz will pay the price for his evil deeds. Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later. And we will all be laughing at that clown.

  3. just me

    one other note……how many of you actually remember Papa didn’t call many games on TV at the end. He went full time to the radio and we were stuck wtih Steve “I love boxing” Albert. Probably not too many of you remember that or can call yourself a W’s fan at the time, for many years the radio and TV were a simuclast. I highly HIGHLY doubt you’d ever see Papa ever come back to the W’s, he’s doing the Raiders and CSN much better pay and higher visability…..your only hope would be someone like Dave Fleming but now he’s going to ESPN for College hoops so I doubt he’d do it either.

  4. just me

    Sheed, I have total respect for you….but some of these guys posting need to go back and rememebr the facts. Papa couldn’t come to an agreement with the Warriors, they were left to scramble and Bob ended up being the guy. He is by far one of the very best in the business, as smoeone else posted……listen to some Kings games or Clippers games and you will love Fitz and Barnett. Both are talanted and you don’t stay at a team as long as they have if you are not good at a job. Secondly, is anyone at KNBR gonna bash The Giants, 49ers, or Warriors? Not likely becuase they have HUGE dollars invested in those teams doing well. If they got on the air and said they all suck and everyone is horrible nobody would attend games. I would challange any of you to get on the air and then turn around and blast your empolyer, see how long you keep your job.

  5. Sureshot

    Seriously. Bring back Greg Papa. Just because Fitz is better than Grant Napier is no reason to keep him aboard when there are better options out there.

    Just do yourself a favor and listen to Papa call a Raiders game. The Raiders are possibly the worst franchise in history, yet he makes the games tolerable (even enjoyable). Just think how nice it would be to hear him calling Warriors games (with Jim of course, a true class act and good announcer).


  6. Not a hater, but...

    I remember when he was first hired by KNBR to do “SportsPhone 68″. He was a smug little ND brat that constantly ripped on any caller that had the gall to disagree with him. I remember one time how he went personal on a caller (for disagreeing) with a “You’re probably some fat, bald guy that sits on the couch and thinks they know everything.” When the caller countered, Bob bragged about how much hair he had and that he never had to worry about being bald.

    I bring this up because, have you seen Bob’s hairline up in that picture? Perhaps its karma payback for the way he treated that caller and undermined Papa out of the Warriors gig? He could trade out with Rick Barry’s “I feel like I’m 35 again” doctor, but Bob is waaaay too arrogant to do those kind of spots. Someone get him some powder to calm that glare!

    I do have to admit Rod/Fitz have good chemistry on their current show, but if Fitz was fired by Lacob…it would make watching Warriors games much more enjoyable. That said, knowing Fitz, he’s probably washing/waxing Lacob’s car right at this very moment. Think of wimpy Biff on “Back to the Future”.

  7. A.J.

    I’ve got to throw in my two cents. In a time of crisis like the Warriors have had for the past 13-14 years minus the two seasons where they went to the playoffs and got so close the next season, Bob has been one constant that has been refreshing to hear. For all the shitty decisions the Warriors have made with personnel, players and most importantly the slap in the face to their, way to loyal fans again and again and again… Fitz is one of the most complete & best announcers around. And you have to be somewhat of a homer when they pay your salary, that’s the grown up world for you kids out there that don’t work and don’t understand that. If you listen to any Lakers, Pistons, Celtics, Spurs, Cavs blah blah blah etc. games and listen to their announcers you’ll learn the true meaning of a homer. These guys won’t even praise the other teams for great plays or a win, even if the opponent clearly was better. They are as bad as the Kobe’s and Lebrons that whine like little bitches when a call doesn’t go their way. I’ve never heard anyone as praising about another teams skills or players as Fitz and Barnett for that matter. They actually get it, that other teams and players are good and that should be rewarded, regardless of the fact that they are Warriors announcers. If Fitz goes it’s another slap in the face to all the warriors fans, this is a queue to the new ownership to start on the right foot and fire all the upper management and current coaches and start fresh. But please keep Fitz and let us get to hear a great announcer for the next 2 decades and more. p.s. his KNBR show with Rod Brooks is funny as hell and if you think it’s condescending then you’re probably to stupid to understand it.

  8. Will

    To all of you on this “Fire Bob Fitzgerald” bandwagon: Thats why NBC hired him for the olympics right, they just hand shit like that out to anybody. Thats why he does football for Westwood One. Just luck, and foul play. You guys are a bunch of sour ass losers. What would you have to say if you were AS CRITICAL about yourselves? You would be talking about how you still live at your momma house, how you aint got no car, how you hellllla broke, how you have to pay for sex, and so on and so forth. But instead of fixing that, youd rather knock Bob Fitzgerald for working his tail off, achieving his goals, and living his dream. I know you retards would much rather listen to Ray Ratto or Tim Kawakami nag for 3 hours, be overly critical, trying to use the biggest words in their vocabulary to try and feel smart…all while not saying squat really, with their nose all in the air like their shit dont stink. Bob can get a little smart alecky sometimes, Im not gonna sit here and tell you he does everything perfect. But he is DAMN good at what he does. You guys need to appreciate what you have…and take that damn Ray Ratto poster off your wall before I slap you.

  9. Max

    If you like Bob, I cannot for the life of me understand it, but its fine.

    The fact is he amounts to a media puppet for the front office that has turned my favorite basketball team into a joke devoid of humor. This bothers me. I don’t enjoy or respect his opinion on basketball.

    I don’t care if the Kings have terrible announcers (and I’m very aware that they do). It has no bearing on my feelings.

    Bob is not overly positive. He takes every opportunity to point out error in any close officiating decision that goes against the Warriors, often resulting in an awkward exchange with a taken aback Jim Barnett. He also loves pointing out any commonly known flaw in an opposing team or player, which is fine, but he ignores the same, often more egregious, flaws of the Warriors. He is very selective with his positivity.

  10. Clifton

    It’s clear that the same friends who called in to ruin the audition for Tim years ago are now writing positive comments about that scumbag “Fitz” on this comment thread today.

    Let’s not forget, this is the d-bag that posted under PHONY names (TC FIrehouse, Flunkster Dude) on Warriors fan sites. What kind of professional broacaster would even DO something like that? Would Bill King do it? Or Lon Simmons? Or Greg Papa? Let me answer that question: no, they would not.

    Fitzgerald is such a slappy, and every fan I talk to at the games (I attend between 12-15 W’s games each year) are united in their utter disdain for this buffoon. I, for one, can’t take another season of the Warriors falling behind by 30 to some lousy team, and listening to that shameless, gutless shill Fitz tell his incredulous TV audience that it’s just bad luck for the W’s because the opposing team is having the greatest shooting night ever. It’s not terrible defense by the W’s, of course, because Robert Rowell wouldn’t permit his puppet and lackey Fitz to say that. Flunkster/Firehouse Fitz is just a steaming piece of dung and I can’t stand the guy. He’s a blight on the Bay Area sporting scene. Can’t wait til he’s gone and in some other market where he can back-stab more friends like he did to Greg Papa, who I think is a true class act. Hey Fitz! Go away you tool !!

  11. Will

    Loved by many, hated by a few. Thats how it goes, especially when youre doing good for you and your family. Bob and Jim have a nice balance of young vs old and funny vs straight forward. I agree with Fred Dean, when he said everyone has such a pessimistic smart-ass, I could do 1000x better attitude towards everything and Ill take it one step further to say you guys are all followers, some monkey see, monkey do types that always ride with the hype. Would it kill you guys to give a man his props for once in your miserable lives??? “Hold on patna, what kind of cologne you wearing…smells like JEALOUSY” – Cougnut

  12. mark

    My goodness people.. have you ever listened to commentators from other cities.. we are spoiled rotten here. I was listening on XM radio to the tampa bay announcers and almost fell asleep when drivings. Fitz and Barnett are so much better than most announcers, it is not even close. The Warriors have sucked ( I should know , as I have been a season ticket holder and attend about 30 games a year) for a LONG TIME. To blame the announcers for being homers.. what do you want them to say every night.. YUP , we still suck. They are employees of the Warriors. I dare anyone of you to walk into your bosses offices every day for the next week ( let alone 15 years) and Say ” This company sucks”
    If the warriors were winning, I guarantee this would not be an issue.

  13. Michael

    I’m not a Bob fan but, Fits and JIm (Barnett) are very good game time commentators. Compare them to the broadcasters for the Kings, Lakers or the national broadcasts of a Warriors games with network or local market commentators and you can really appreciate how good our Warrior’s staff members are.

  14. Fred Dean

    This is what I took from that article…Let’s fire Fitz because he wants to have the player’s back, he’s friends with his boss and he’s too positive. I guess that’s the state of sports fan these days. I have to say most sports fans (especially Warriors fans who want to fire a TV analyst) subscribe to this ‘let be negative, Damon Bruce, Jim Rome, lets rip the player, fire the coach’ mentality which only leads me to believe that you are an tool and or idiot. An idiot that acts with emotion instead of logic. Not a huge Fitz fan but he does a pretty good job. I’m not going to talk about the Emmy’s he and Jim Barrett have won. Obviously somebody thinks that he’s doing a good job. Do any of you have league pass? Seriously the TV guys around the league are terrible. Fitz is almost 2x better than 97% of his priers. Its not even close.

  15. CohanHater

    Fitz Really isn’t that bad. Turn on the League Pass and watch any other team’s announcers. Hell, just turn the Kings on for a game or two. Both Fitz and Barnett will actually say when a call was a bad call. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that from any of the other guys.

  16. Tim Liotta

    Fitz “screwed” me out of a job back in the early 90’s at KNBR. We both had auditions, and during mine, Fitz had all his buddies call in and fukc with me. My audition sucked and Fitz got the gig. What a terrible human being. If you heard he was gang raped, you wouldn’t really feel that bad.

  17. Clifton

    Fitz is such a tool. He is the clown prince of broadcasters, and none of us die-hard Warrior fans will ever forget how he back-stabbed his friend and mentor Greg Papa to steal the Warriors job years ago. He is slimeball, a fraud, and a d-nozzle.

    This Warriors ownership group – so far – is looking like Cohan 2.0.

  18. Karim

    I think we all can agree Fitz is irritating on air, esp. during his and Brooks talkshow. He is a huge homer, and a dork. I would love to see Tim Roy or Greg Papa back doing W’s telecasts. Bay Area sportscasters generally are a classy bunch, as we have seen with Lon Simmons, Hank Greenwald, Jon Miller…hell, Kruk and Kuip are considered one of the best tandems in sports, and they are quick to criticize their own team. When you look at KNBR’s lineup, Fitz and Brooks are the weakpoints, by a long shot. Hopefully the new ownership sees this and gets someone in with some class- Kevin Colabro would be great, and Tim Roy or Greg Papa would suffice. And no matter what anyone says, I like Jim Barnett. Him and Papa are great on the air together.

  19. (Required)

    Your inability to attribute any quotes or information to any named source significantly decreases the credibility of the “article”. It’s the difference between bloggers and journalists, I suppose.

  20. evanz

    Why are people so up in arms about this? Vin Scully is owned by the Dodgers. Who cares?

  21. Bob S

    This comment is BS:

    “The source states “Two or three day before sale was announced, a few real high-ups at Warriors (Travis Stanley, Neda Kia and Ben Shapiro)all got promotions and extension”

    First off, the deal and all of its specifics, were negotiated long before the sale was announced.

    Second, the selling party legally can not give “promotions and extensions” without consent of the acquiring party once a Letter of Intent was agreed (many months before), so if those three got promotions and extensions, it was with the CONSENT of the new ownership group.

    Thirdly, this is freaking game and entertainment for the fans, not a conspiracy. The fans of the GS Warriors have no one to blame but themselves for continuing to pay for a substandard product.

    • Nuck

      “First off, the deal and all of its specifics, were negotiated long before the sale was announced.

      Second, the selling party legally can not give “promotions and extensions” without consent of the acquiring party once a Letter of Intent was agreed (many months before), so if those three got promotions and extensions, it was with the CONSENT of the new ownership group.”

      If the deals were worked out far in advance with consent of the new “owners”, but the bidding process was rushed, then there were most likely anti-trust violations in auction process. This supports suspicions that the bidding was wrought with fraud and collusion.

      The “no comment” from KNBR might as well be an admission of their guilt considering if they were paying Fitz this could have been nipped in the bud.

  22. cj

    Ol Bob got his initial job with KNBR because his daddy was a college buddy of the then-KNBR program director Bob Agnew. He’s a joke, and I will continue to watch GSW games on mute

  23. Hallama

    Hopefully with the new ownership group this sort of business won’t happen any longer. Illegal, no? Dishonest, a little. Annoying, absolutely.

  24. jB

    I’m nowhere near being a Bob or Bobby fan, but how hard is it for people to comprehend that Bob is never going to bite the hand that feeds him.

    He’s employed by the Warriors and works on the Warriors flagship radio station…do you think for a moment Bob would jeopardize what is most likely a more lucrative deal with the Warriors by bashing them on the radio? Makes no sense. Highly doubt the Warriors are paying KNBR anything, they don’t need to…

  25. Max

    What a surprise, millionaire athletes don’t want to hang out with super-hip-Fitz?

    I have never listened to his radio show and never will, but unfortunately, I can not avoid him on the Warrior’s broadcasts. His approach to calling a game entails patronizing the viewer, in hopes that the average fan is not able to tell the difference between such things as “getting unlucky” and playing horrible defense. I feel bad for Jim Barnett and would love to hear his honest opinion of Jim, though that is obviously unlikely to happen.

  26. GG

    I haven’t heard any of this and you’re obviously much more involved in the information surrounding the team than I am, but if it’s an ethics call, how he got the job in the first place wasn’t necessarily a class in proper ethics either.

  27. All Warriors Fans

    Dear Joe Lacob,

    I know you read these sorts of things. Please get rid of Fitz’s sorry-ass and hire Greg Papa. The guy is an arrogant douche, which is not surprising since he went to Notre Dame, and he doesn’t deserve to be the color man for the future success the Warriors are going to experience under your watch.

    It also sounds like he’s not professional at what he does (i.e., a journalist who won’t talk bad about a team because he’s paid by the team not to do so), and we don’t need any more non-professionals associated with the Warriors. Get to work!

    -All Loyal Warriors Fans

  28. Jeff

    Fitz is such a pud. Damon Bruce is such a better talent. And he speaks the TRUTH! Bye bye Fitz!

  29. lester diamond

    Nice work, Sheed. Hopefully Lacob won’t fall for Fitz’s b.s.

  30. Kevin

    Rasheed, you are a moron. You don’t have any real sources here. Get a life.