You likely have no idea of the connection between Hall of Fame sportscaster Marv Albert and yours truly but he was my first broadcasting “idol” and an inspiration for me to try and make a career behind the microphone.

During the New York Knicks magical 1969-70 season Albert and I spent many evenings together.  He was the 28-year old voice of the Knicks on radio and television and I was a 13-year old who loved sports and had already realized that my limited athletic ability meant there would be no career on the court or field.

During that championship season I would listen to just about every game on the radio on our new “stereo” with headphones plugged in as my parents watched television.  Often I would scream after a basket in which Albert delivered his signature “YES” after it went through the hoop.  At that time Knicks home games from Madison Square Garden were not televised on local TV so it was radio or nothing and Marv made me feel like I was sitting in the front row.  Of course I never missed a road game televised on Channel 9 but it was those games on radio that first made an impression on me.

By the way Albert was also a superb hockey play-by-play broadcaster and voice of the New York Rangers for many years where his signature phrase was “kick save and a beauty” after a goalie made a great save. He called the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994 when the Rangers ended a 54-year drought.

I mention this today because over the weekend it was learned that the soon to be 80-year old lead broadcaster for TNT will retire at the end of the NBA Playoffs with official announcement coming later today.   His near 60-year career has been a remarkable one and when asked if he is the greatest basketball broadcaster of all time I would respond emphatically YES.  I mean if not for Marv I might not have gone into broadcasting and just think of what a loss that would be you.  (I’m biting my tongue while saying this).

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