Legendary Phoenix Suns radio voice Al McCoy concluded his tenure with the franchise Thursday night, signing off for the final time in 51 years.
McCoy, who turned 90 years old in April, announced his plans to retire earlier in the season. Suns fans hoped McCoy’s tenure would last into June, especially after the supposed title contenders added Kevin Durant to their roster at the trade deadline. Unfortunately, their season came to a disappointing halt Thursday night, getting knocked out by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the NBA Playoffs following a 25-point Game 6 loss. But Phoenix’s underwhelming showing in the playoffs shouldn’t take away from McCoy’s epic broadcasting career.
“I think our listeners know that this is my final broadcast for the Phenix Suns after 51 amazing years, and I just want to say a couple of things.” McCoy began as time expired in the game, thanking broadcast partner Jon Bloom and longtime analyst Tim Kempton.
“I want to say something special to a special group of people,” McCoy added. “Through the years, I’ve become friends with so many sightless people. And you can’t understand what radio and sports radio broadcasting means to these folks. And I’ve gotten to know so many sightless people that depend on our radio broadcasts, and I’ve known people that are in hospitals and in veterans’ hospitals and shut-ins. And I just want to thank all of those folks that depend on radio for letting me be a part of their lives.
“And to all the rest of you… I just want to say thank you for 51 wonderful years and allowing me to bring the story of the Suns in the NBA to you. It’s been a great ride.”
A great ride not to be diminished by the Suns’ embarrassing home-court exit from the playoffs for the second straight year.
Many Suns fans overlooked their team’s disappointing showing and remained in the arena to watch McCoy conclude his iconic broadcasting career with his final NBA radio performance. In a really cool moment after the postgame show was completed, McCoy received a round of applause and took off his headphones to the tune of nearby fans chanting his name, thanking the broadcaster for being there as the voice of the Suns for the last half-century.
The 90-year-old McCoy was named the voice of the Suns in 1972 and just completed the longest tenure for a broadcaster with a single team in NBA history. McCoy’s accolades were recognized by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007 when he won the Curt Gowdy Media Award.