Wednesday night’s Atlanta Hawks’ 103-89 road win over the New York Knicks to wrap up that NBA first-round playoff series was notable from the basketball side, but it was really notable from the broadcasting side. That game, broadcast nationally on TNT, featured famed announcer Marv Albert calling his first game inside an arena in more than a year, and also calling his final game from Madison Square Garden (he announced last month that he’s retiring at the end of this season). Albert (seen above ahead of a March 5, 2020 game) had a long connection with the Knicks, calling their games consistently from 1967-2004, so it was certainly notable to see him back there. And afterwards, he told Marc Berman of The New York Post that it was a great experience for him:
“It was just wonderful to be in an actual building with live players and crowd. And it brought back a lot of memories for me. It turned out what we hoped for in a telecast. A great game to do, a tremendous night.”
…“Particularly having Reggie Miller with me with all that Garden history and he has such a feel for the Garden, and the Trae Young stuff, Spike Lee being there, it was fantastic,” Albert said. “Spike and Reggie are friends now.
“Due to their situation [the Knicks] haven’t been on the network for quite some time. I hadn’t done a Knicks game in a few years.”
…“Everything felt just right,” Albert said. “I told Reggie the Knicks would get a standing ovation at the end.”
It’s certainly nice that things worked out for Albert to get one more call from MSG. TNT has largely had remote announcers this year, but they’re moving to some in-person broadcasts as the playoffs go on, and Albert will be calling games for them through their final series this year, the Eastern Conference Finals. So it’s good that that aligned in a way that let Albert call one more game from MSG.
And there may be more on this to come. Berman notes that an NBA Entertainment crew is currently filming a documentary on Albert covering his 55-year broadcasting career, and that they recorded some interviews with him ahead of the game Wednesday. So we’ll see what comes of that. But for the moment, it’s definitely cool that Albert got to call one more MSG game, and that it was a good experience for him.
[The New York Post; photo from Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports]