Painting word pictures is the essence of fine baseball broadcasting. Fashioning
mosaics while calling the fast-paced sport of professional basketball
is another matter. In fact, it is so unusual, that only one man in the
history of the game has mastered it to the fullest. That man is Chick
Not only has Chick developed
an inimitable style, he has practiced his craft more than any other broadcaster
in the history of basketball. Hearn, now in his 39th season of play-by-play,
broadcasted his 3000th consecutive game on January 19th, 1998, a Ripkenian
mark that will likely stand for many years to come.
Whether it be a regular season
or NBA playoff game, Chick has been there, missing games only twice since
1961(once due to a canceled flight and once due to laryngitis). Yet it
is not just his durability and tenacity that have made him a true two-time
Hall of Famer(Chick was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in May
1991). It is the way he turns basketball play-by-play into an art form--effortlessly
weaving information and anecdotes that wrap neatly into the inherent excitement
of 48 minutes of fast-paced NBA action.
Francis Dayle "Chick" Hearn
began his extensive career in Los Angeles in 1956 broadcasting USC football
and basketball. He then followed with a nightly radio sports show for
which he won two Emmy Awards. Other broadcasts that "Golden Throat" has
graced the airwaves with for nearly 50 years include NCAA and NFL football,
UNLV basketball, PGA golf, the first Ali-Frazier fight, the Rose Bowl
and NBC's Triplecast coverage of the 1992 gold-medal U.S. Olympic Basketball
"Dream" Team in Barcelona.
His diligence and dedication are in large measure responsible for his
seemingly invincible broadcast streak.