By Rob Charry
Legendary Jewish sportscaster Marv Albert will retire after the NBA playoffs this summer, he announced Monday.
Born Marvin Aufrichtig to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, he became one of basketball’s most prominent broadcasters. But he was also a national voice for the NFL and NHL, calling Super Bowls and Stanley Cup Finals in addition to NBA Finals over a career that saw him broadcast in seven different decades.
Albert, who turns 80 next month, will continue to call basketball games on TNT up until the NBA finals, before he hangs up the microphone for good.
As the story goes, a 21-year-old Albert got his big break when another Jewish Syracuse grad, the fabled Marty Glickman — also Albert’s mentor — had a conflict and couldn’t broadcast a Knicks game on New York’s WCBS-AM radio in 1963. It was off to the races after that, as Albert began a play by play career that had him call Knicks, Nets, Rangers and Giants games on TV and radio in New York.
Albert’s legacy includes calling the Olympic gold medal game for the original Dream Team in 1992, NCAA tournament games, boxing and tennis. He was the sports anchor on WNBC-TV in New York from 1975-1987, which led to his more than 50 appearances with David Letterman, first on NBC (“Late Night with David Letterman”) and then on CBS (“The Late Show”), showing highlights and lowlights in sports.
He was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
In 1997, his longtime employer NBC fired him in the wake of sexual assault charges by multiple women. The network brought him back two years later, after he was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence.