After almost 60 years calling professional basketball, Marv Albert’s final game came Saturday night on TNT. Albert, who was given the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award back in 1997, started his basketball broadcasting career by calling Knicks’ games on KCBS radio back in 1963, first as a fill-in for Marty Glickman. He’s had a long and impressive career since then on both the local and national fronts, but announced earlier this year that this season would be his last. And analyst Reggie Miller paid a notable on-air tribute to him following the Bucks’ series-clinching win over the Hawks Saturday:
“You gifted the game of basketball with your voice.” ✊
Hall of Fame broadcaster Marv Albert wraps up a legendary career. pic.twitter.com/4ONADiRqOo
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 4, 2021
Miller says “This is the end of an era for you. I’ve had the opportunity to be next to you, I’ve been at Turner now for 15-plus years, and you called some of my best games when I played for the Pacers. There’s a lot of men and women who have sat next to you, and you’ve treated everyone with the utmost respect. You gifted the game of basketball with your voice. Thank you, Marv.”
“I know there’s a lot of emotions that are going through you. I know EJ and the Inside The NBA guys are going to interview you in a little bit. But what’s going through your head right now, as this is the end of an unbelievable era”?
Albert responds “Well, first, thanks very much for the nice thoughts that you have just passed on. Reggie, with tonight’s game winding down, I’m thinking ‘Well, this is it. My last broadcast.’ And all that’s going through my mind is that I have been so fortunate to be doing this for 55 years, doing what I love, having a front-row seat to so many of the iconic moments of sports history.” He then describes some of the old photos they showed, including him broadcasting with Glickman and playing against Julius Erving.
Albert then continued “Doing this with all the people who are at the top of their game, brilliant at their craft, and Reggie, it’s been such a pleasure working with you, you’re a Hall of Famer as a player, as a broadcaster, and as a person. And our gifted people in the truck, producer Tom Heitz and director Andrew Greathouse, statistician Brian Taylor, production crew, our fantastic camera people, I’d love to mention all the names, but time does not allow. And everyone at Turner Sports who does such a great job, starting with the chairman, WarnerMedia, news and sports, Jeff Zucker, who happens to be a NBA fanatic. And the guys at Inside The NBA: Ernie, Charles, Kenny, and Shaq, you are the best, and we’ll be hearing from you guys soon. And Ernie, as I said to you a couple of weeks back, I wish I was starting all over again, it has been such a joy. So for the last time, thanks so much for watching. I’m Marv Albert, saying ‘Thank you, and good night.'”
Albert also received a standing ovation from Miller, and from some fans behind the set:
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 4, 2021
As mentioned above, Albert started his basketball career in 1963 as a radio fill-in for Glickman on a Knicks broadcast. He took over as the main voice of the Knicks in 1967, and would go on to call Knicks’ games until 2004 on radio and television. He also called television games nationally for NBC from 1990-97 (before a departure in the wake of his sexual assault trial) and then again from 2000-02. He started working at Turner in 1998, and has been there since, serving as the lead voice of the NBA on TNT for much of that time. He certainly made a remarkable impact on NBA coverage in his many different jobs, and he’ll be long-remembered by many fans.
[NBA on TNT on Twitter]