CHICAGO – "Bang."
Long-time Knicks broadcaster Mike Breen will be sent to the Hall of Fame and will win the Curt Gowdy Award 2020 at ceremonies at the United Center on Friday.
Breen, who grew up in Yonkers and graduated from Fordham, called Knicks Games for 28 seasons, starting with WFAN radio in 1992 before joining MSG Network.
The rest of the country knows Breen for his national TV roles, where he teamed up with former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy and former Knicks Point Guard Mark Jackson to form a venerable trio.
Breen, who has a record 14 consecutive NBA finals, said he found out after broadcasting the Knicks game against Washington on Wednesday, but was not allowed to tell anyone except his wife.
"I almost started to cry," said Breen. "It's hard to figure out even after you get the floor. When I was 5, I fell in love with basketball and played it until I was 45. To get this job, it was a lottery and an award like getting this for the work you love so much … It's hard to find the right words to say how I feel. "
"Bang" is his signature and it started in Fordham from the stands.
"When we weren't playing games, I was in the stands as a student," said Breen. "When a Fordham player fired a shot, I shouted" Bang. "I've tried it on the air a few times as a student. I said," It doesn't work. I don't really like it. "
“Then I went back when I started watching TV and found that in a big moment it was a nice, succinct way. You say a monosyllabic word and the crowd increases and you don't have to shout about it A simple word. I'm from the Vin Scully, Pat Summerall School of Conciseness. It worked with a large, loud crowd. "
At the announcement, the Knicks fans were thrilled by Breen on social media. He's kept a steady keel in the air with partner Walt Frazier while experiencing all of those losses over most of 20 seasons, and he's still popular with Knicks fans. The Knicks are expected to miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive time.
When asked how he could deal with the incessant loss, Breen said:
"It's love of the game," said Breen. "I just love the game. Every night we sit down you don't know what you're going to see. On some evenings it's an incredible feat, on some evenings it's an incredible comeback, on some evenings it's a terrible game and it's not fun to watch. But there is an opportunity every night. "
Breen said he hung a Frazier poster in his Yonkers nursery when he was 10 years old. His mother is still living in the house and the poster is still hanging.
"I'm going from Walt Frazier as my basketball hero to my partner and lifelong friend," said an emotional Breen. "I can't make it up."