Here’s Part II of my interview (click here for Part I) with Dante Marchitelli and George Galante, the duo aptly known as “Dante & Galante.” In this segment, Dante and George reveal their future as announcers of the Orlando Pro Summer League.
Doing the Dante & Galante show for two years, what has that experience been like for you guys?
Dante Marchitelli: It’s been great, man. It’s been a lot of fun. We’ve been doing it for a couple of years, and it just started with the idea of giving the players a different route than their standard interview. Just the opportunity to show the lighter side and their personalities, right?
George Galante: Yeah, for me, I didn’t have any broadcasting experience at all, so I would like to think that hopefully in year two, Dante wasn’t carrying [the load] as much as he had to in year one. But it’s been great, it’s been a lot of fun.
What spurred y’all to create the show? Was it after the Summer League experience?
Dante: Yeah, that was it. It was Summer League. We get a lot of e-mails and a lot of support from Summer League, so we just wanted to try to find a way to try to capture that and carry it over into something else.
In the two years that you guys have been doing the show, if y’all had to choose, what has been your favorite segment?
Dante: Without question, ‘What did Hedo say?’ … yeah, for me, that was my favorite segment.
Galante: Yeah, I would have to agree with that. I think a little part of us died when Turk left.
Dante: The thing is, I don’t know if we ever really knew what he said. That was the most fun for us.
Galante: I also remember when Dante suggested … that was a Dante brainchild, and I remember when he suggested it. I remember, at first, thinking how wrong that would be but then, at the same time, thinking how hilarious it would be. So, we ran with it and luckily Turk didn’t want to punch me in the face.
Dante: When we played it for Hedo [Turkoglu] and he didn’t know what he said, I think that validated it.
Galante: Yeah, no question.
Which player on the Orlando Magic have y’all enjoyed speaking to the most? I know it’s tough to choose, but is there anyone that stood out?
Galante: For me, I think the guy that we got to know a little better and he opened up to us more after the show was Jason Williams. Here was a guy that was pretty quiet and didn’t say a whole lot but once we had him on the show and he saw what we did and how it could show his personality a little more, I think he opened up a lot more. At least, for me. When we were on the road, he just treated me a little bit different in a good way after that. All of the guys [on the Magic] were really good, but he definitely changed after we had him on … personality-wise.
Dante: I think for me, it was J.J. [Redick]. That was the most surprising, because he has a persona of being a quiet guy and staying to himself. But you know he’s a character. You’re not going to be able to bring it out when you’re asking him, ‘what you go to do to beat the Bulls’ but in a format like this, that allows his personality to come out … he really took it and ran with it. I was really impressed with him after that, also.
Given the format, do you find that the players get into a comfort zone when they’re speaking to you?
Galante: For sure. Especially for the J.J.’s and Anthony Johnson‘s and even Dwight [Howard]. Dwight really looks forward, or at least he tells me to my face, that he would look forward to doing our show because it was something that was different and he could be himself and that was what we were looking for. We weren’t looking for his breakdown of going against Kendrick Perkins, and how he would go against Pau Gasol. He liked to talk about other things, and I think the guys really responded to that.
At least to my face, anyways. *laughs*
Both of you have been able to develop a cult following with your Summer League antics the past two years. Will you guys be back this year?
Galante: That apparently is up for review and not by us. The rumor is, and I don’t know what’s going to happen with it, but the rumor is that there may be some games that are televised on NBA TV this year, which may prevent us from doing the games on the internet.
I know that our higher ups are working with their higher ups to try to get us … *laughs*
Let’s clarify it. Not so much us, but to still have some type of exclusivity on OrlandoMagic.com, where fans can … I don’t know about you, but I’m not so sure someone is going to rush home at 1 o’clock in the afternoon to go put on NBA TV to watch the AirTran Pro Summer League. Whereas, if they’re sitting at their desk at 1 o’clock in the afternoon and wasting their precious time and resources, they would be more inclined to tune in on the internet. We’re not doing any negotiations, Dante and I.
Dante: It has not been ruled out, but it has not been approved.
You’re in limbo, then.
Galante: Yeah, we’re in limbo on it. I know if we can do it, because there are more teams this year, there are four games a day. I can promise you that, if we are to do it, we will not be doing four games a day. There’s no possible way that my eyes and your ears can take that for four games a day. If we are to do it, we’ll probably do two a day and then maybe we’ll let natural sound take over.
Are you guys surprised by the cult following?
Dante: Well, here’s the thing. I was surprised at first but within the last year or two, I’m not so surprised because I’ve come to realize how many people live in their parents’ basement. I’ve come to realize how many people don’t have a significant other in their life and may never get one or how many people are glued to the internet, things like that. So, it doesn’t surprise me that much anymore.
There’s a lot of lonely people out there, Eddy, and they need somebody to talk to them. *laughs*
For one week, we’re those two guys. We love the e-mails. We actually love the support because without it, we don’t have a broadcast. There’s no way you could sit through those brutal games without getting support like that, so it’s been a blast. We’ve actually really enjoyed it.
Galante: If we had a great cult following, wouldn’t we have more than 1,300 Facebook followers by now?
I don’t think our cult following is as great as I think it is. *laughs*
When you’re calling those games, what’s your mentality? Do you guys plan beforehand, or do y’all go off the cuff?
That’s a great question. There’s zero prep work. I will try my best to solicit from George a list of their rosters, and I’ll go over them. I do like to be able to look, see a number, and be able to know … so-and-so scored a basket, because people do — at home — want to at least hear the basket.
George has never really been concerned with that, with keeping score and keeping track. *laughs*
Galante: And that’s true. Dante does come up, when the week starts, with a stack of papers. Not so much information, but at least like … okay, ‘number one is so-and-so, number two is so-and-so’ and at least can tell you who’s bringing the ball up the floor. I pretty much derail the whole thing by letting you know that I got an e-mail from some guy that wants to know what where he should take his girlfriend out for a three-and-a half-month anniversary, something like that, then it completely derails after that.
Dante: Then it’s probably, I would guess, halfway through the first quarter when the first time that he says he’s bored. *laughs*
It starts getting more loose, too.
Galante: I get bored quickly.
Dante: Yeah, George’s attention span isn’t much.
Galante: I’m bored right now. *laughs*
I like to thank Dante and George for taking the time to answer my questions.