On this day 97 years ago, Francis Dayle Hearn was born in Aurora, Illinois. By the time he left us in 2002 there was no one who had made the impact from the commentator’s box as Chick Hearn.
Hearn is a basketball legend, and one of the greatest play-by-play guys in any sport ever. His impact on the game stretches across the globe. His ‘Chickisms’ include phrases used by everyone today such as ‘Airball,’ ‘Slam Dunk,’ ‘Finger Roll,’ ‘Charity Stripe,’ and ‘Triple Double.’ Laker fans will always remember Hearn ‘putting the game in the refrigerator’ when the Lakers had clinched the win.
Just as notable was his streak of 3,338 consecutive games broadcast for the Lakers which stretched 36 years. His broadcast style was distinct as he was clearly rooting for the Lakers, but was never biased when they were playing basketball. It felt like you could always tell whether the Lakers were winning or not just by the tone on Hearn’s voice.
He was honored by the Lakers with a jersey hanging in the rafters as well as a statue built outside of Staples Center.
We at Lakers Nation wish the late, great Chick Hearn a Happy Birthday. Check out this awesome Youtube video of the Best of Chick Hearn.
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