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 Hearn.
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.