In basketball, common phrases that are associated with the game are actually terms that Hearn made up. Whenever you hear airball, slam dunk, or finger roll, you are hearing a phrase that Chick Hearn invented. The list, however, doesn’t stop there, it continues on and on, as the number of basketball phrases he introduced are astonishing. There is not an announcer today who is able to go a game without using some of Chick Hearn’s terms, and that is truly an extraordinary feat. Hearn was the Iron Man of broadcasting, calling 3,338 consecutive Lakers games from 1965 until 2001. His streak lasted through six presidential administrations, multiple wars, and hundreds of thousands of made baskets. Hearn revolutionized the game, and was one of the most popular men in sports. Opposing players would make a point to talk to Chick when playing the Lakers, and he had the respect of everybody in the game. Hearn was one of the rare broadcasters who was able to have fun while maintaining a professional image. While he invented countless phrases and basketball terms, none of them was more pleasing to Lakers fans than the declaration he made when the ball game was out of reach for the opponent.
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