There may be no voice more closely associated to the New York Knicks franchise than the iconic Marv Albert. The legendary broadcaster recently announced his retirement at the end of the year, but he'll be at Madison Square Garden to call at least one more game this postseason.
The Knicks are the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference after a breakout season under head coach Tom Thibodeau. The team has its backs against the wall as it returns to New York, down three games to one against the No. 5 seed Atlanta Hawks.
The series resumes on Wednesday night, as the Knicks look to stay alive for a game six. As first reported by Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Albert will be on hand to call the game for TNT, his first in-person non-exhibition since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He did call the All-Star Game in person, but has otherwise been remote.
“It should be intriguing," Albert told USA Todayof his in-person assignment this week. "We were doing games in a studio in New York while Reggie (Miller) was in LA or Grant Hill was in Atlanta. It was a challenge. We should see each other on a Zoom screen. We felt like we would step on each other.
"It’s difficult when you’re not in the same room or right next to the person you’re working with, so they had to work out all technical problems. But we got it down to where it’s pretty good," Marv Albert continued. "The last two weeks, we’ve been [in studio] in Atlanta. I’m back in New York right now. We were doing it together where we were separated by plexiglass. To me, the thrill of it was doing the actual All-Star game and seeing real players at a real arena. We did that about 20 rows up.”
Albert said the time off, and then remote schedule during COVID-19 was a "rehearsal for retirement." A few years ago, he began to get the sense that he was ready to call it a career, and after this past year, the time is right.
"I found the pandemic – obviously I feel terrible for people who had have problems and suffered with it – but it was a rehearsal for retirement. I just felt this should be it. I’m going to be 80 years old. I feel great and I’m healthy. But I enjoyed parts of staying at home. I’m all for social distancing in many cases (laughs). I enjoy reading and watching TV. I became a binging fan, which I didn’t really have time for, and working out. So I didn’t mind it. I love going to baseball games here or there when I had time in the past. But I really found I have a lot to do.”
If tomorrow night winds up being his final game, there's no more appropriate one than with the New York Knicks back in the postseason. Knicks-Hawks tips off 7:30 p.m. ET.