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NBA – 1987 – Finals Game 5 Celtics Vs Lakers Halftime – Interviews Of Chick Hearns + Johnny Most

Chick Hearn (November 27, 1916 – August 5, 2002) was an American sportscaster….known primarily as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association….who is remembered for his rapid fire….very staccato “rapid fire” broadcasting style….which is associated with colorful phrases such as slam dunkair 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.  Additionally, Hearn started the now common tradition of estimating the distance of shots taken.  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’s broadcasting streak began on November 21, 1965. Hearn missed the Lakers’ game the previous night after having been stranded in Fayetteville, Arkansas by inclement weather after having announced a game between Arkansas and Texas Tech….and would not miss another until December 16, 2001….in order to undergo scheduled cardiac bypass surgery. Hearn recovered from his surgery, but in February 2002, he suffered a broken hip after falling at a gas station….which further delayed his expected return to the Lakers broadcast booth. Hearn recovered from both issues and resumed broadcasting on April 9, 2002….while receiving a standing ovation from the Staples Center crowd upon his return.  His final broadcast was for the Lakers’ radio feed of Game 4 of the 2002 NBA Finals….where the Lakers defeated the New Jersey Nets to win their third consecutive NBA championship. His final Lakers-affiliated appearance was as the emcee of the team’s 2002 championship parade in June.

Chich Hearns cohort in the halftime interview seen in the video herewith was John M. Most (June 15, 1923 – January 3, 1993)….who was an American sports announcer known primarily as “the raspy radio voice of the Boston Celtics” of the National Basketball Association from 1953 to 1990….and is probably best remembered for his excited call of “Havlicek stole the ball!” during the final moments of Game 7 of the 1965 NBA Eastern Division Finals.

Johnny Most always referred to his perch or radio booth at the Boston Garden (the Celtics’ arena) as “high above courtside” at the opening of his broadcasts….and to his usual perch near the scorer’s table on most Celtics road games as “directly at courtside”….as  his broadcasts began with “Hi there once again, this is Johnny Most (high above / directly at courtside) here at the Boston Garden (or other venue), where the Boston Celtics and (foe) are getting set (or about) to do basketball battle.”….and when sponsor tag lines did not get in the way….he ended broadcasts with “This is Johnny Most; ‘bye for now.”….and when returning from a commercial break, he would frequently start by saying, “Back out here at the Boston Garden (or other venue)”.

Unlike his long-time contemporary Chick Hearn, who criticized his Los Angeles Lakers when he felt warranted….not Johnny Most…he was an outspoken “homer” who rarely criticized the Celtics during game play….but wasn’t shy about criticizing other teams’ players or fans….while calling them “hysterical with joy” when cheering Celtics losses. A good example of Johnny Most approach was during the 1985 season….when he nicknamed Laker star point guard Magic Johnson “Crybaby Johnson” after Johnson successfully challenged a referee’s call.  He called Magic this negative nickname throughout the remainder of the 1980s, announcing lines like “Cry with the no-look pass!” and “Crybaby with the rebound!”….as he also nicknamed Washington Bullets players Rick Mahorn and Jeff Ruland as “McFilthy” and “McNasty“….while interchanging the two at his whim….plus he also referred to Philadelphia 76ers players Steve Mix, Bobby Jones and Andrew Toney as “The Hatchet Brothers”. Most was also very critical of the Detroit Pistons for their physical play during the late 1980’s. He was particularly hard on Bill Laimbeer….whom he memorably called “Big Baby”, Dennis Rodman, Rick Mahorn and Isiah Thomas….whom he referred to as Little Lord Fauntleroy

The contrast of these two legends is obvious in these specials segments with Brent Musburger where Most comes across with a “street fighter”….while Hearn is much more the “street don”…..as this footage is “a rare jewel” in our treasure chest of vintage memories here at ImaSportsphile….for to have these two icons of NBA announcing in conversation with Johnny Most and Chick Hearn talking all things Celtics vs. Lakers with the one and only, Brent Musburger!?! PRICELESS.

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