The Miami Heat continued their improbable postseason run with a thrilling Game 2 victory Sunday night in Denver, erasing a 15-point deficit to tie the NBA Finals at 1-1. If nothing else, the Heat avoided the embarrassment of being swept and are now guaranteed at least a five-game series with Games 3 and 4 to be played on their home floor later this week.
When it happens, Game 5 will mark a career milestone for Mike Breen, making history with his 100th NBA Finals broadcast. No one has called more Finals games than Breen, who took over for Al Michaels as ESPN and ABC’s lead NBA announcer in 2006.
?Tonight marks Mike Breen's 97th #NBAFinals game broadcast. As we've previously announced, if the series extends to Game 5, Breen hits 100. Remarkable.
— Ben Cafardo (@Ben_ESPN) June 4, 2023
Already a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (he was part of the 2021 induction class), Breen has been a fixture both locally (he calls New York Knicks games on MSG) and nationally for decades. The 62-year-old’s success and longevity have landed him in the pantheon of sports storytellers, rarified air occupied by the decorated likes of play-by-play legends Bob Costas, Dick Stockton and Marv Albert.
Best known for his catchphrase “Bang!” (yelled emphatically after a pivotal shot is made), Breen, throughout his career, has been widely admired as one of the most respected and polished narrators in all of sports, responsible for memorable calls like Ray Allen’s iconic three to keep Miami’s championship hopes alive in 2013.
.@Hoophall Class of 2018: Greatest shot in NBA Playoff history? Ray Allen's Game 6 Classic in the 2013 NBA Finals is certainly in the conversation. Miami went on to win Game 6 in overtime and then take Game 7 for its second straight championship. pic.twitter.com/iTC4vrlZBy
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) March 31, 2018
ESPN has been a revolving door in recent years, though its core trio of Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson has stayed largely intact, bringing a rare level of continuity and cohesion to its NBA coverage.