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|Chick Hearn set the standard for NBA play-by-play announcers.|
A member of the Basketball and the American Sportscasters halls of fame, Hearn called a record 3,338 consecutive Lakers games starting in 1965 before missing a game because he had to have an operation in December 2001 for a blocked aortic valve. While recovering, he fell and broke his hip. He returned April 9 and broadcast the Lakers' playoff run to their third consecutive championship. He joined the Lakers when the team moved from Minneapolis for the 1960-61 season. Hearn's career was far longer than such Lakers standouts as West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes, James Worthy and Michael Cooper. And he was calling games long before current stars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant were born. ''There's never going to be another Chick Hearn,'' Johnson said. ''He's a man who will be remembered long after. Some people grow bigger than their sport, bigger than their job.'' Johnson said he will remember Hearn for more than what he did in the broadcast booth. ''When I talked to Chick, a lot of times it was hardly about basketball,'' Johnson said. ''He was always so proud of me. I would get little notes from him. That would make me feel so good.'' Hearn called his first Lakers game in March 1961. His last game was June 12 when the Lakers beat the New Jersey Nets 113-107 in East Rutherford, N.J., to complete a sweep of the NBA Finals and earn their ninth title since moving from Minneapolis. During the finals, he said he was getting stronger every day and planned to work at least one more season. He believed his call of the Lakers' Game 7 victory over Sacramento in the Western Conference finals might have been as good as any in his career. Last week, he drove to Las Vegas with his wife to speak at a fantasy basketball camp. Born Francis Dayle Hearn on Nov. 27, 1916, in Aurora, Ill., Hearn peppered his rapid-fire delivery with terms like ''no harm, no foul,'' ''the mustard's off the hot dog,'' ''ticky-tack foul,'' and ''faked him into the popcorn machine.''
|LOS ANGELES -- Chick Hearn, the Lakers' legendary play-by-play announcer, was credited with creating or popularizing some of basketball's most popular expressions. Here are a few: ''Slam dunk!'' Shouted as Laker stars Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O'Neal and others stuffed the ball from above the rim. ''Air ball'' and ''It didn't draw iron.'' Used to describe badly missed shots. ''Too much mustard on the hot dog,'' describing a player trying to be too fancy or spectacular. ''The mustard's off the hot dog,'' describing a blown showboating play, such as a missed slam dunk. ''No harm, no foul,'' for minor contact in what is ostensibly a non-contact sport. ''Ticky-tacky foul,'' when a referee calls a foul for minor, incidental contact. ''Caught with his hand in the cookie jar,'' for a player who commits a deliberate foul and is caught by the referees. ''He faked him into the popcorn machine'' For a defender badly faked out on a play. ''You can put this one in the refrigerator. The door's closed, the light's out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's getting hard and the Jell-O is jiggling.'' Said in the final minutes of a game, Hearn's way of saying there was no chance the team behind could mount a winning rally. -- The Associated Press|