With the Lakers going strong into the first round of the playoffs, I can't help but reminisce on the days of Chick Hearn whenever I tune in to watch modern day basketball. Recently, I've been seeing more and more sellout players along with former coaches who haven't won any championships attempt to commentate and intelligently speak on games, players and analysis of playoff series. Some of these guys are horrible role models, others are guys who just don't know what it felt like to win (let alone have a good reputation with fans) - yet they fight to extend their income making years by trying their luck at broadcast. Chick commentated on a level that surpasses any benchmark in sports broadcasting today. His classic style of commentating kept Laker fans listening, as well as excited and proud about their team - no matter what the outcome of the game was.
Chick was an icon to my family who emigrated here from the Philippines. My parents tell me he was the very first thing they saw and heard when they landed at the airport here in Los Angeles. They grew so fond of Chick that the Laker fan loyalty was built throughout my family because of his pleasant voice, passionate tone and 'good-ole-boy' spirit. We welcomed him into our homes on weekends when the games were aired on other networks with other commentators by muting the television and finding Chick on AM radio to listen to side by side.Since Chick, I haven't done that for any other sportscaster.
When Chick passed away, the Laker nation was devasted. Though he passed away years ago, writing this brings me back a bit to days that I wish he was still around. What would he have thought about the Shaq & Kobe rival? What would he have done to encourage us during the Celtics series last season? Would Phil have his 10th ring by now if Chick was around? These are only some of the questions that I think about. The man grew old with the team, and stayed on far longer than a fan could ask for. He didn't grab the microphone for money, fame or attention. He spoke what he saw and shared what he thought in order to express his love for the Lakers each and every game.While the Lakers are as strong as they are today, I cannot go without thinking about the legacy I know and remember as Chick Hearn.
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About the reviewer
Angelo Ignacio (angelodignacio)
I'm a Filipino-American living life as a post undergrad making a start here in beautiful Los Angeles. I love the weather and diversity here and enjoy everything this city has to offer. I'm excited to … more
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Francis Dayle "Chick/Chicky Baby" Hearn (November 27, 1916 – August 5, 2002) was an American sportscaster. Known primarily as the long-time play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, the legendary Hearn is remembered for his rapid fire, staccato broadcasting style, inventing colorful phrases such as slam dunk, air ball, and no harm, no foul that have become common basketball vernacular, and for broadcasting 3,338 consecutive Lakers games starting on November 21, 1965.