“Slam Dunk!!!” “Dribble drive.” “Air Ball.”
Those are just a few of the everyday basketball terms coined by the legendary Chick Hearn, his “chickisms.”
In my personal opinion, the man is the greatest broadcaster ever. In any sport, and it isn’t even close. I truly feel if he would have continued as a football broadcaster (or baseball, hockey, etc.) he would still be the best at it. Being just 26 years old right now, I only got to listen to Chick live for the first 13 years of my life, but I feel very comfortable making that statement. He called games so majestically. He wasn’t a homer like quite a few local announcers today. When the Lakers were playing horribly, he would let it be known that they were. He didn’t sugar coat their bad play with excuses (11:15 mark is the best example). He would be equally as excited on the mic when the opposing team was making big plays as he would be if the Lakers did.
Listening to him on the radio, you got his words-eye view of every game, it was like you were right next to him in the broadcast booth! I actually remember during the Shaq/Kobe three-peat run how my family would mute the TV during the NBA Finals and turn on the radio so we could listen to Chick call the games! The man was a Laker for so long and called so many consecutive games (3,338 in a row to be exact). In my opinion, he is just as important to the Lakers franchise as anyone who has ever played in the golden armor. There are reasons why that microphone is hanging in the Staples Center rafters, and why he is one of the few broadcasters to ever get their own statue. Watching old highlights with Chick on the call always gets close to bringing tears to my eyes. The purple and gold meant as much to him as any life-long die-hard fan, and this one will always appreciate him for it.