Marv Albert, whose rapid-fire cover became an NBA soundtrack for nearly 60 years, will retire from sports broadcasting after the 2021 playoffs, his employer, Turner Sports, announced Monday.
Albert, who turns 80 in June, has called 25 NBA All-Star Games, 13 NBA Finals, the 1992 gold medal in men’s basketball for the United States and dozens of other major sporting events for several networks. during a long career which has earned him recognition. in several halls of fame.
Although Albert called the games in a variety of sports, including professional football, hockey, and baseball, he is best known for his work in basketball. He was the Knicks’ primary play-by-play voice for much of four decades from 1967, and became the NBA’s primary voice for NBC Sports in 1990, where he worked from 1977 to 1997 and from 2000 to 2002. He worked for Turner Sports for 22 years, 19 of which were as an NBA Play-by-Play announcer.
“There is no voice more closely associated with NBA basketball than that of Marv Albert,” said Adam Silver, league commissioner, in the announcement. “Marv has been the soundtrack to basketball fans for almost 60 years,” he added.
Albert recorded his first signature “Yes!” appeal in 1968, when Knicks goaltender Dick Barnett hit a jump shot during the playoffs.
On the air, he was “as warm as they come”, David Halberstam, former play-by-play presenter of the Miami Heat who publishes the Sports broadcast newspaper, said in a telephone interview. But off the air, Albert was pretty calm. Born and raised in Brooklyn, his obsession with basketball began early. He worked as a ball boy for the Knicks as a teenager, then returned as a college senior and developed a close relationship with Marty Glickman, the famous broadcaster who called the team games for radio. WCBS at the time. Sometimes Glickman would hand the microphone to Albert to announce statistics.
Albert called his game debut on Jan. 27, 1963, replacing Glickman as the Boston Celtics beat the Knicks. He was 21 years old.
“He called the game with such great flair and such a great description that he had learned from Glickman, and it was fascinating and captivating,” Halberstam said of Albert’s early years. “You would never want to turn that radio off.”
Albert’s coverage of the top five of Michael Jordan’s six NBA championship titles solidified his household name. But her career was cut short by a high-profile lawsuit in 1997 which revealed a series of sinister sexual encounters. Two women testified that Albert assaulted them and Albert pleaded guilty to assault and battery.
After pleading guilty, he resigned from the MSG Network, which broadcast the Knicks and NHL Rangers, and was fired by NBC. He did not serve a prison sentence but received court-prescribed therapy.
Less than a year later, however, he returned to broadcasting, covering Knicks games on the radio and as the host of the MSG Sportsdesk in the evening. In 1999 he joined NBC. Albert left NBC in 2002, after the network lost its NBA coverage, and he was dropped as the voice of the Knicks in 2004 after criticizing the team’s play on the air.
“He made you love basketball more because of his style and because of his voice, tone, pace and pace,” said Mike Breen, who took over play-by-television. play for the Albert Knicks. interview. “It was perfection.”
Albert was named to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2015, and was recognized by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997.
His last series will be the Eastern Conference final; Philadelphia is the seed in the East, and the Nets are No.2. The Knicks, No.4, will make their first playoff series since 2013.
Albert said in a statement that his 55 years in broadcasting were “gone”.
“Now I will have the opportunity to hone my gardening skills and work on my ballroom dancing,” he said.
Richard Sandomir contributed reporting.