Marv Albert retiring after Eastern Conference finals

Marv Albert, a legendary NBA announcer whose broadcasting career began in 1963, said this week that he’s retiring after the Eastern Conference finals.

For decades, Albert was the voice of the New York Knicks, stepping into the top spot in 1967. He also served as the NBA’s lead play-by-play announcer on American network TV (NBC). And he later filled the same role on cable television (Turner Broadcasting) for decades.

Albert will celebrate his 80th birthday in June.

The native New Yorker broadcast 13 NBA Finals and 25 NBA All-Stars Games on NBC and Turner, The Associated Press reported.

What’s more, his illustrious career also included calling pro hockey, football, boxing, tennis and a number of other sports.

“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.”

High praise for Marv Albert

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Monday acknowledged that Albert’s iconic voice is synonymous with the league.

“There is no voice more closely associated with NBA basketball than Marv Albert’s,” Silver said in a statement

Furthermore, New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick said Marv Albert had a knack for bringing out the best in his broadcast partners.

“He was peerless as a play-by-play man in that he made all of his dozens of color analysts the best they could be,” Mushnick wrote last weekend. “That was perhaps his greatest talent. He would kid, coax and question until his partners relaxed and delivered.”

Muschnick went on: “He wanted everyone around him to be the stars, from Sal ‘Red Light’ Messina, to John ‘Johnny Hoops’ Andariese, to Mike ‘Czar of the Telestrator’ Fratello, to stat man Art ‘The Dart’ Friedman.”

In his tribute to Marv Albert, Mushnick said the broadcaster’s famous “Yes!” call after a basket is universally celebrated.

“If ‘Yes!’ was shtick, as opposed to an excellent short-form description of a successful jumper, it was the only shtick he performed,” Mushnick opined. “It was copied and repeated in gyms, schoolyards and in office wastebasket games for decades — not as shtick, but as a salute.”

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