|Born||November 27, 1916 |
|Died|| August 5, 2002 (age 86)|
Francis Dayle "Chick" 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, 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. Hearn had missed the Lakers' game the previous night after having been stranded in Fayetteville, Arkansas by inclement weather after having announced a college football game there. Even that was only Hearn's second missed assignment for the Lakers since he had become the team's broadcaster in March of 1961. He would not miss another until the end of 2001.
Of note is that most of Hearn's games in the television era were simulcast on both radio and television, even after most teams chose to use different announcers for the different media.
Hearn grew up in Aurora, Illinois near Chicago and attended high school at Marmion Academy and college at Bradley University. He earned the nickname "Chick" while an Amateur Athletic Union basketball player at Bradley, when teammates played a prank on him: giving him a shoebox to see his surprised reaction when he opened it and found not sneakers inside, but instead a dead chicken.
Hearn's streak of 3,338 consecutive Lakers games came to an end midway through the 2001-02 season when he underwent cardiac bypass surgery. Hearn recovered from his illness and resumed broadcasting that season, receiving a standing ovation from the Staples Center crowd upon his return. His final game was Game 4 of the 2002 NBA Finals where the Lakers defeated the New Jersey Nets to win their third consecutive NBA championship. During the summer, Hearn suffered a fall at his Encino, California home, and struck his head causing serious injury.
Three days later, on August 5, 2002, Chick Hearn died of his injury. He was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
In honor of his contributions to the Los Angeles Lakers, both the Lakers and the city of Los Angeles renamed a portion of West 11th Street between Figueroa Street and Georgia Street to Chick Hearn Court. This street currently runs alongside Staples Center's main entrance. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority further honored broadcaster by changing the name of the nearby Blue Line station to Pico-Chick Hearn.
|3,000||Lakers vs. Orlando||January 19, 1998|
|2,500||Lakers @ Cleveland||March 13, 1992|
|2,000||Lakers @ Utah||February 28, 1987|
|1,500||Lakers vs. Seattle||February 16,1982|
|1,000||Lakers vs. New York||April 8, 1977|
|500||Lakers vs. Cincinnati||January 14, 1971|
|1||Lakers vs. Philadelphia||November 21, 1965|
Nicknames for Laker Players
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Cap, The Captain, Big Fella
- Kobe Bryant: The Kid
- Cedric Ceballos: Garbage Man
- Michael Cooper: Secretary of Defense
- Rick Fox: Foxy
- Gail Goodrich: Stumpy (because of his height) This nickname, frequently used by Hearn, was actually given to Goodrich by teammate Elgin Baylor.
- Magic Johnson: Buck, The Magic Man
- Shaquille O'Neal: Big Fella
- Kurt Rambis: Blue-collar Kurt, Clark Kent (because of his safety glasses)
- Jerry West: Mr. Clutch, Zeke from Cabin Creek
- James Worthy: Big Game James
- Nick Van Exel: Nick the Quick, Nick Van Excellent
- Sedale Threatt: The Thief
- Eddie Jones: Fast Eddie, The Pickpocket
- Derek Fisher: Fish
- Eddie Jordan: Thief of Baghdad