One-on-one with Phoenix Suns play-by-play announcer, Jon Bloom
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It’s a dream job three decades in the making for the new voice of the Suns, Jon Bloom. He’s following in the footsteps of a broadcast legend, Al McCoy. For Bloom, this is the endgame. He’s been pursuing this job nearly his entire life. Arizona’s Family News Anchor Yetta Gibson sat down with him as he began the 2023-2024 NBA season as the voice of the Phoenix Suns.
“I would say probably before high school, let’s say middle school. Because when I was 13 was when I became a fan of the Phoenix Suns,” Bloom says. He grew up in the California Bay Area and became a Phoenix Suns fan when Kevin Johnson, who played for the University of California at Berkeley, joined the Suns in 1988.
“Kevin Johnson was my favorite athlete of all time. I got to go to Cal basketball camp as a little kid, and I met him. I was an aspiring point guard; I just absolutely fell in love with the way he played the game and watched everything he did and tried to mimic it on the court, too,” Bloom says. For Bloom, it’s been a journey from Syracuse to Oakland University to the Northern Arizona Suns; now he’s preparing to step out from behind the shadow of a legend.
Yetta: Are you nervous that people are going to initially and maybe even constantly compare you to McCoy?
Bloom: “Oh, I know they’re going to. I’m ready for that. I’m prepared. And I know very well what Al McCoy has meant. I am always going to defer to the Hall of Famer and to keep him a part of this in whatever fashion I can. Because, like I said, 51 years in the same job, you can’t just close that chapter and move on.”
Jon’s been pursuing his dream job, learning from the master while calling the away games for years. It’s not just about the ins and outs of the game but about connecting with the fans.
Yetta: You talked about Al McCoy being your mentor. Did he show you the ropes?
Bloom: “I kind of just watched. Not just how he operated during game days. But with, you know, with fans, with his sponsors, with everything that’s involved with the job, I just kind of paid attention. And the biggest thing that I learned was how massive of a role he has played with almost every human that’s grown up in the Valley.”
Yetta: So how are you going to put that stamp on your part on how you do things with this new job?
Bloom: “Radio play-by-play is its own art form. What we’re doing is painting pictures for people who don’t have the images. So it’s our job with our words to make them imagine what’s happening. I want that to come across the way I describe the action, but I also want that fan in me to be clear. It’s not going to be like I’m ‘crazy yelling at officials’ fan. It’s gonna be a professional type of fan. And I’ve been able to cultivate that over the years, too. I think when I’ve put that pro hat on and sat in that seat for Al (McCoy), I’ve been able to realize this is when it’s just got to be the real and the pro.”
Yetta: Are you nervous at all about the new job?
Bloom: “No, because like you I’m a parent. And when you have kids and you learn what is really worth getting nervous about doing stuff like this and talking about basketball isn’t what makes me nervous anymore. It’s when my daughter gets behind the wheel of a car. It’s excitement. It’s energy. So now I’m gonna get to really use that energy in a way that is going to be different than I’ve ever had before.”
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