Longtime Lakers Basketball Fan Chris “Geeter” McGee Takes His Shot
- Written & photographed byKat Monk
In Los Angeles, the Lakers shine bright both on and off the court. A simple Google search shows that Leonardo DiCaprio and Snoop Dogg are among the Lakers’ most fervent supporters, and acting legend Jack Nicholson has been a fixture courtside since 1970. Yet two-time Emmy winner Chris “Geeter” McGee, a sports commentator and Spectrum SportsNet analyst known as “the Voice,” might actually be the Lakers’ #1 fan.
Before his current gig, Geeter was a Fox Sports West sideline reporter, primarily covering the Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers but also the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Angels, the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans. Spectrum’s Lakers show, filmed in El Segundo, includes pregame, halftime and postgame analysis by Geeter and two former Lakers players: Hall of Famer “Big Game James” Worthy and “Big Shot Rob” Horry.
“Geeter has an incredible knack for freestyling in a way that showcases deep knowledge of the sport and its players,” says Leonard Armato, former CEO of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP). “This unique talent translated well into his career as a broadcaster, where he is a compelling personality and natural for hosting sports programming.”
For Geeter, it’s a dream job. Though commentating and cohosting with former NBA legends could be an intimidating task, Geeter holds his own. His deep understanding of Lakers Nation—from the history to the players to the performances—resonates when he’s on the air.
“Some announcers are just doing it because it’s a job, but Geeter, he announces because he loves it and it’s his way in to being an actual Laker.”
“I don’t think people understand how much he loves the Lakers. When they are losing, it is almost like someone stabbed him in the gut,” adds Rob Horry.
On air, Geeter once shared that if the Lakers lost a game, everyone knew to give him some space. “Some announcers are just doing it because it’s a job,” says Rob, “but Geeter, he announces because he loves it and it’s his way in to being an actual Laker.”
Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, Geeter played football, baseball, basketball and volleyball. By the time he was in college, he was captain of the Division I volleyball team at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) while earning his bachelor’s degree in communications. He participated in CSUN’s appearance in the 1993 NCAA Division I Final Four tournament with teammate Matt Unger, CSUN Hall of Famer. After college, he taught and coached volleyball.
For aspiring sports commentators, Geeter suggests not following his untraditional path, as his broadcasting career could be characterized as slightly accidental. While on a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to play in a six-man tournament, his buddies suggested he announce the finals after his team was eliminated. “So I did some analysis and included some funny voices,” shares Geeter. “I just did my thing.”
A couple of years later, the AVP was looking for an emcee to help their two announcers, Jim Arico and Sam Lagana. Upon a recommendation from Kevin Martin and Matt Unger to Jon Stevenson, founding member of the AVP, Jon responded, “Is that the guy from Cabo?” Geeter was hired on the spot, and the rest is history.
“I taught Chris everything he knows, and now look at where he is,” shares a proud Jim in a Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame promo advertising the two as cohosts.
“At the AVP, he made the show better!” says Holly McPeak, Bronze medal Olympian in beach volleyball. “He would go into these amazing monologues about pressure just before the third set of a final, and the crowd would go crazy. Geeter is one of a kind. He was an athlete and has so much respect for the sport. You can hear it in the way he reports.”
At the annual Charlie Saikley 6-Man Beach Volleyball Tournament in Manhattan Beach, Geeter played on Team Fletch—known for wearing Lakers jerseys, wigs and board shorts. Over the years Team Fletch was crowned champion four times.
Former and current NBA players can also be found playing on 6-Man teams, including former Laker Steve Nash and former Golden State Warrior Richard Jefferson. Team Fletch has included former Lakers head coach and player Luke Walton, Olympic beach volleyball player Casey Jennings and current professional beach volleyball players the McKibbin brothers.
Passion, quick wit and authenticity steered Geeter into a career in broadcasting that not only combined his love for sports but has allowed him the flexibility to be the kind of husband and father he was destined to be. “My family means the world to me, and the coolest part of my job is how supportive they are,” he shares. “They provide me with all the inspiration and motivation that I need. Being a girl-dad truly is the best.”