NBA Legend Marv Albert Is Retiring. Let’s Revisit His Greatest Calls.
The legendary sportscaster who called eight Super Bowls and eight Stanley Cup Finals but is best known for being the voice of 13 NBA Finals, 25 All-Star Games and the Dream Team’s run to the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona is calling it a career.
Known for his iconic “Yes!” exclamation following a made basket, Marv Albert called his first NBA game as a 21-year-old fill-in for Marty Glickman on Knicks radio in 1963 and will call his last whenever the last game of the Eastern Conference finals is played on TNT next month.
Albert, who will be 80 by the time he retires, is in the final year of his contract with Turner Sports and it was fairly widely assumed that this season would be his last. “My 55 years of broadcasting the NBA has just flown by and I’ve been fortunate to work with so many wonderful and talented people,” Albert said. “Now, I’ll have the opportunity to hone my gardening skills and work on my ballroom dancing.”
Though not everyone will miss Albert, NBA commissioner Adam Silver called the Hall-of-Fame broadcaster “the soundtrack for basketball fans for nearly 60 years” and said “there is no voice more closely associated with NBA basketball” than Albert’s.
“If you were in New York and you loved sports and you listened to him call a game, it had to impact you,” Mike Breen, the TV play-by-play man for the Knicks and ESPN’s lead NBA voice, told Newsday. “Now, you add to that someone who might think about doing this for a living, I mean, he was the perfect soundtrack for somebody like that. You learned so much just by listening to him, how he controlled the game, how he called the game, how he brought the excitement, how he brought the humor, how he brought the analysis. For somebody like me and so many others who even had the slightest thought of going into the business, he was the perfect soundtrack to listen to to figure out the right way to do it, and he has been and will always be the gold standard.”
In honor of Albert hanging up his loafers, here’s a collection of five great calls that capture just a sliver of his storied career in the NBA booth.
And one not so great one, to remind us that all good things can and should end at some point …
Happy trails, Marv.