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Atlanta Hawks

Rap legend Chuck D reacted to the Atlanta Hawks replacing longtime game announcer Ryan Cameron with radio jock Big Tigger.

The Hawks announced it was replacing Cameron after 20 years with the team and 17 years as game announcer at State Farm Arena.

Ryan Cameron was the highest paid game announcer in the league. NBA insiders whisper that the new announcer signed on the dotted line for mere pennies.

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Tigger, whose real name is Darian Morgan (pictured left with Ryan), worked as DJ for several years for the Hawks.
 
READ ALSO: Twitter Reacts to Atlanta Hawks Replacing Ryan Cameron with Big Tigger
 
Fans were surprised and disappointed with the decision. Cameron was responsible for helping the Hawks rank No. 1 among all NBA teams in an NBA Game Experience Survey.

Outraged Cameron fans swarmed the Hawks' social media pages demanding answers.

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Rap legend Chuck D, of Public Enemy, called out the Hawks for the terrible PR move.

"See ATL FANS? This is what keeps the @ATLHawks raggedy. After the BEST season EVER in the City of Mass Distraction -Hawks drop @ryancameron as on-court announcer. The @nyknicks brass fumbled with Marv & Ewing. Yo fix that bulsht [sic]."

Cameron, who is host of Ryan Cameron Uncensored at Majic 107.5/97.5 radio, joined the Hawks in 2001. Much of his early 30 radio career was spent with the Hawks.

In 2004, he took over the mic as announcer. He missed only 2 games in more than 700 home games, including playoff runs.

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NBA insiders say the decision was made by Steve Koonin, CEO of the Hawks, to replace Cameron with Tigger who has zero experience as an in-game announcer.

Koonin said in an interview Tuesday that the decision was spurred by a staffing clash with Audacy, the company that airs the Hawks games on 92.9/The Game and also owns V-103 where Tigger is morning host.

Cameron no longer works for Audacy since Majic 107.5/97.5 is owned by Radio One.

"Ryan is fantastic," Koonin said. "We love him. But this is 21st century media, and we need to be vertically integrated. That means using on-air talent with the Game and V-103."
 

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Atlanta Hawks CEO and part-owner Steve Koonin, left, presented rapper Tip "T.I." Harris, center, with an expensive Audemars Piguet timepiece backstage before the Hawks home opener on Saturday. Koonin was very appreciative of T.I. for helping to save the Hawks after that messy racial incident involving former owner Bruce Levenson. Other celebs in the house included reality TV stars Tameka Harris, Kandi and Todd Tucker, and rapper 2 Chainz.
Photos: Dennis Byron/hiphopenquirer.com

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