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Another announcer voices complaint

Prime tickets leave radio broadcasters away from action

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Add the Phoenix Suns' Al McCoy to the list of radio play-by-play announcers voicing their displeasure over their seating locations in various NBA arenas this season.

"It's embarrassing that they have seen fit to prevent us in a majority of arenas from doing a professional job," McCoy, the Suns' voice for 35 seasons, told the Arizona Republic. "We lose communication with coaches, players and referees. If we were eating popcorn and drinking beer it'd be great, but we can't do our job adequately."

The Jazz's longtime play-by-play voice, Hot Rod Hundley, publicly expressed similar displeasure last month — and wound up getting called on the carpet by franchise management as a result.

In an effort to sell higher-priced seats, numerous teams throughout the league have moved radio personnel and other media members off of arena floors and high into the stands.

Last Saturday in Oakland, for example, Hundley called the Jazz's game against Golden State from a perch so high it could have had a San Francisco zip code.

According to Monday's Republic, McCoy "plans to write" NBA commissioner David Stern about what he calls a "tragedy."

Witnesses said the frustrated Phoenix announcer also discussed the subject with Jazz owner Larry H. Miller when the Suns were in town earlier this season

PUNCH HAPPY: Jazz center Mehmet Okur received a technical foul and an automatic ejection for punching the ball (backward over his head) into the spectator area late in the Jazz's loss to Orlando on Monday night.

The technical results in an automatic $1,000 fine.

It was unclear Monday if the ball incident also results in an automatic fine, especially since it so weakly wobbled its way there, but recent precedent suggests it is. At least three players from teams throughout the league have been fined $5,000 in 2006 as a result of incidents in which the ball went into the stands.

J.J. WHO? Remember all those calls for the Jazz to draft Duke shooting guard J.J. Redick with their No. 14 overall selection in last June's NBA Draft — a decision averted when Orlando took Redick at No. 11?

Well, here's what Redick has done for the Magic in 15 games so far this season: one game played (the season opener), three minutes, two shots, one basket.

Redick has been on the inactive list 11 times this season, including Monday night in Utah, and did not play (coach's decision) in Orlando's other three games. Though he battled injury problems in training camp and the preseason, none of the no-shows have been labeled as injury-related by the Magic.

MISC.: San Antonio's loss at Golden State on Monday means the 12-3 Jazz still have the best record in the NBA. The Spurs and Utah meet Wednesday night ... Rafael Araujo and Roger Powell were inactive again for the Jazz ... Ex-Jazz point Carlos Arroyo was inexplicably booed Monday, and wound up with 13 points on 6-of-11 field shooting ... With 21 points and 16 rebounds, Magic star Dwight Howard recorded his sixth straight double-double Monday — the same day he was named the NBA's Western Conference player of the week for last week's feats.

E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com