Dave Joseph talks challenges of replacing David Courtney

Dave Joseph LA Kings MayorsManorMayorsManor broke the news yesterday, the LA Kings have hired a new PA Announcer.

For nearly every Kings fan, the late David Courtney was the only PA voice they’d ever heard inside the arena, first at the Forum and now Staples Center. After passing away suddenly in late November the somber reality of the ongoing lockout had hit home. Courtney, who spent nearly 35 years with the Kings, wouldn’t be on hand to help raise the Stanley Cup banner.

The day after his passing, Dave Joseph of ESPN 710 radio joined us on the MayorsManor show to pay tribute to a man who everybody seemed to love.

“I didn’t believe the news at first,” Joseph said at the time. “I thought somebody was playing a cruel joke.”

No, it was true. His friend and mentor was gone. Even worse though, just five minutes after getting confirmation of the news, Joseph had to go on the air.

“That was one of the toughest sports updates I’ve ever done – and I’ve done thousands,” he said. “It was just so hard to say. Here was a friend, a guy I’ve known for years and years, a guy all Kings fans know, and he’s not with us anymore.”

The two had worked together for the past 12 years and during that time had shared a similar path.

“He taught me a lot of things I know about sports broadcasting, about public address announcing, about keeping a crowd entertained,” Joseph said, while reflecting on his relationship with Courtney.

After grieving for the past six weeks, he now has the unenviable task of trying to fill some big shoes.

When the Kings return to the ice in their post-lockout home opener next Saturday, Joseph will be behind the mic in Courtney’s old seat.

“I’m extremely humbled to be taking over as the Kings PA announcer,” Joseph told MayorsManor last night. “It’s a bittersweet feeling though. It’s hard to follow a true legend like David.”

Courtney used to call Joseph ‘junior’ and would often ask him to fill in when he had conflicts in his busy schedule – calling games for the Kings, Angels, Clippers and other teams around Southern California.  So, Joseph’s sort of been down this road before. He knows what it’s like to be asked all night, ‘What’s going on? Where’s David Courtney?’

Additionally, his mentor gave him many notebooks filled with the ‘rules’ on how to properly call penalties, goals, announce players, etc. Which, according to Joseph, has helped him immensely though the years – even as recently as last season.

There was a Kings home game just after the hiring of Darryl Sutter where Courtney fell ill and couldn’t complete his duties for the night. Joseph jumped in and backed him up, as he had done numerous times before.

“He taught me most everything I know about PA announcing,” Joseph said, while processing what it will be like to announce games this season.  “He took me under his wing and left nothing to chance. He was my friend and a true professional in every since of the word. So, as great as it is to be in a position like this, I’d much rather still have David here. I just hope I can make him proud and honor the legacy he left.”

There’s no way to know for sure, but we can easily assume that if Courtney could have hand picked his successor, it would have been Joseph.

So, go get ’em junior.

To listen to some of the great stories Joseph and Bob Miller shared on our Tribute to David Courtney show, click here… or, to read our tribute article, click here.

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.

Comments

  1. I sincerely hope the Kings incorporate David into the games. Keep his Ladies and Gentlemen…for the team intro. Or the Los Angeles Goal.
    I know DJ will now have to make his own mark, but I think it would be fitting to keep honoring David in some way.