Today in Sports History: August 5

On this day in 2002, the sports world lost an icon and the Los Angeles Lakers bid farewell to a cherished family member. The legendary Los Angeles Lakers play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn, was a pioneer in the early days of the television era. Known for his rapid fire broadcasting style, Hearn’s play-by-play was simulcasted on radio and television. Regardless of the platform, Hearn had the ability to captivate everyone. His talent to evoke imagery, to play with words, brought the game to those at home. What used to be known as “Chickisms,” are now simply basketball lingo we’ve become accustomed to hearing everyday. Without Hearn, James Harden wouldn’t get to the “charity stripe,” terribly bad shots would never be degraded to such a simple yet descriptive term of “didn’t draw iron,” and nobody would have the satisfaction of hearing their favorite player “picking the pocket” of an opponent during a close game or ending up in the popcorn machine. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but Hearns slew of iconic lines bring to memory a thousand different occasions. Perhaps what’s even more impressive, is his loyalty and dedication to his craft. Having consecutively called 3,338 Laker games through the span of four decades and nine championships, we open the refrigerator of history to remember a man who has closed it so many times before, with the Jello jiggling and the butter getting hard.

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