Mike Breen, the voice of the New York Knicks and the NBA on ABC and ESPN, was back behind the mic Tuesday night for the first time since losing his Long Island home to a massive fire.
Last week, Breen’s Manhasset house and everything inside was destroyed by a fire. Thankfully, his family and their dogs were unharmed as no one was home at the time. Despite the life-altering incident, the approaching NBA preseason meant Breen would have to return to work not much more than one week later.
Tuesday night, Breen was back on the call for the Knicks‘ first MSG broadcast of the preseason. Not wanting to take away from the game, Breen waited until there was one minute left in the fourth quarter before mentioning the recent fire.
“I didn’t want to take anything away from the game, I just want to give a heartfelt thanks to so many people who offered kindness and support this past week after the fire at my family’s home on Long Island. Just a reminder for me of how many wonderful people are in my life. Yourself included,” Breen told his longtime broadcast partner and Basketball Hall-of-Famer Walt Frazier.
“And all family here at MSG, the Knicks and Madison Square Garden,” Breen continued. “There will never be enough words adequate words to tell you how truly touched we all were and what a difference it made. Just incredible support. Me and my family the beneficiary of just unbelievable kindness. So thank you to so many.”
The Breen family lost all their possessions in the fire. Pictures of their family and children, personal mementos and handwritten game notes. Breen even needed to rush to acquire new suits to wear as he prepared to make his TV return.
“You’re a good man, you’re always giving,” Frazier responded to Breen. “Always caring and sharing.”
Breen has been the voice of the Knicks since 1991, when he began as their radio play-by-play announcer on WFAN. He later moved to their TV broadcast for MSG. The renowned play-by-play announcer and Curt Gowdy Award recipient is also the lead voice for the NBA on ABC and ESPN, and has called every Finals series since 2006.