Comcast SportsNet Bay Area announced that Ric Bucher, formerly of ESPN and currently a host on 95.7 FM “The Game” on “The Drive” with Brandon Tierney, has joined the network as an “NBA Insider.”

Matt Steinmetz — also a host on 95.7 FM “The Game,” which seems to be forming a sort of pseudo-partnership with CSN Bay Area — is still listed as the “Warriors Insider” on CSN Bay Area. From my understanding he will continue in that role and work with Bucher on certain projects.

John Henry Smith served as the sideline reporter for CSN Bay Area quite a bit last year, and I would assume that arrangement would cease with the news of this hire … unless they plan on going with two sideline reporters for every Warriors home game.

From CSNBA’s release on the hiring:

In his new role as an “NBA Insider,” Bucher will be a sideline reporter for the Golden State Warriors home telecasts and will provide coverage across the network’s growing list of multi-platform outlets including CSNBayArea.com’s “WarriorsTalk” page, and for SportsNet CentralChronicle LiveWarriors Pregame LiveWarriors Postgame Live and other NBA programming.  The announcement was made by Ted Griggs, President of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Griggs said, “Ric is a high-profile, marquee talent who brings tremendous basketball acumen to the network.  He is among the nation’s most accomplished sports journalists, and we are thrilled to have him join our team and bring his impressive credentials to Comcast SportsNet.”

Bucher added, “As a long-time Bay Area resident, I’ve been aware of Comcast SportsNet’s stellar work covering Bay Area sports for years. I’m thrilled that they are providing me a platform compatible with my radio show to continue covering the NBA. I look forward to offering my basketball insight on both the Warriors and the league overall.”

Bucher had this to say on Twitter after the announcement was made:

This move sounds like a no-brainer. CSN Bay Area beefs up their NBA coverage, and Bucher gets to stay local while putting his national contacts to good use.

This can’t hurt “The Game” either, since Warriors fans will be constantly reminded that the two main NBA reporters seen on local broadcasts will be around to talk Warriors up to six hours per day on the radio.

Contrast that with KNBR, who only has one person who covers the Warriors on every day: Bob Fitzgerald. Unless they plan on creating a new drivetime show called “The Saint and Mr. T,” that is. I heard a new promo featuring Harrison Barnes playing on “The Sports Leader” yesterday; get ready for a winter of both radio stations trying to prove how much they love covering Warriors basketball. Somewhere, Joe Lacob is rubbing his hands together and saying, “Excellent…”