Marv Albert

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Marv Albert : biography

June 12, 1941 –

Ousted from NBC

Consequently, NBC – for which Albert worked for over 20 years – fired him shortly before the 1997-98 NBA season began on The NBA on NBC. Bob Costas took over for Albert on the basketball side in the 1997–98 season before stepping down after the 2000 NBA Finals for Albert’s return. In addition, Tom Hammond spelled his football duties. It is also revealed on a Simpsons DVD commentary that he was to appear in the episode "Bart Star" but, due to the scandal, was replaced by Roy Firestone.

Return to NBC

NBC brought Albert back less than two years later, and he was the network’s main play-by-play man for the 2000–01 and 2001–02 NBA seasons, including the finals. NBC lost the rights to the NBA to ABC following the 2001–02 season.

Broadcasting partners

  • John Davidson
  • Mike Fratello
  • Doug Collins
  • Steve Kerr
  • Magic Johnson
  • Cris Collinsworth
  • Boomer Esiason
  • Sam Wyche
  • Jeff Van Gundy
  • Rich Gannon
  • Bob Trumpy
  • Paul Maguire
  • Bucky Waters
  • Sal Messina
  • Bill Chadwick
  • Reggie Miller

Broadcasting career

National Basketball Association

New York Knicks (MSG)

For 37 years beginning in 1967, Albert was the voice of the New York Knicks on radio and television (getting his start by being a ball boy for the Knicks before getting his first break on New York radio by sportscaster Marty Glickman) before being let go by the chairman of the MSG Network and Cablevision after Albert criticized the Knicks’ poor play on-air in 2004. His son Kenny Albert also began to work as a part-time play-by-play announcer for the Knicks since 2009, whenever the older Albert’s successor Mike Breen (whom he later followed on the NBA on NBC broadcasts and now works on ESPN and ABC aside from his role at MSG) is unavailable.

For a brief period before he resumed his normal broadcasting duties following his sexual assault arrest (see below), Albert anchored MSG’s former nightly sports news report, MSG SportsDesk.

NBC Sports

Marv Albert was the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the NBA on NBC for most of its run from 1990-2002, calling every NBA Finals during that timeframe except for 1998, 1999 and 2000. During this time, Bob Costas had taken over the lead job and called the Finals after Marv’s arrest for sexual assault had brought him national disgrace. Marv resumed his previous position for the 2000-2001 season and called Game 4 of the 2002 NBA Finals which was the final NBA telecast on NBC. During his time on NBC, Albert continued as lead play-by-play man for the New York Knicks on local MSG Network telecasts and began calling national games for TNT in 1999 as well. When he regained the lead broadcaster position on NBC, he continued to call play-by-play for both networks until the end of NBC’s coverage in 2002.

TNT

Albert continues to be the lead play-by-play announcer for National Basketball Association games on TNT, a position he assumed in 1999. Indeed, TNT has become his primary commitment ever since his longtime employer NBC lost the NBA broadcasting rights in 2002, and may have played a role in his departure from the Knicks’ broadcast booth. The Knicks reportedly wanted Albert to accept a salary commensurate with his reduced Knicks schedule, but also weren’t happy about Albert making what Knicks management felt were overly critical comments about their team in spite of their losing record. In basketball, his most famous call is his simple "Yes!" for a basket, rendered in many variations of volume and length depending on the situation; and a catchphrase that he began using in his youth when playing pickup games with friends.

On April 17, 2002, shortly after calling a game between the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers on TNT, both Albert and color analyst Mike Fratello were injured in a limo accident in Trenton, New Jersey. Albert sustained facial lacerations, a concussion, and a sprained ankle. The 2002 NBA Playoffs were scheduled to begin two days later, with Albert scheduled to call multiple games that week. Bob Costas filled in those games, and Albert returned to call Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings.