Veteran Basketball Announcer Marv Albert to Sit Out NBA Restart

The 79-year-old sportscaster will not be heading to Orlando at the end of July

Marv Albert
Marv Albert looks on prior to a game between the Nets and 76ers.
Getty Images

If the NBA does restart its season at the end of July in Florida, which appears to be far from a certainty, one of the league’s leading play-by-play men will not be there to call games.

Veteran basketball sportscaster Marv Albert will be sitting out the NBA’s return at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando due to concerns about the rise of cases in the area where the league will have its “bubble,” according to The New York Post.

Albert, who turned 79 last month, said he planned on attending the restart and calling games on TNT, but had “second thoughts” about it after getting a call from WarnerMedia News chairman Jeff Zucker, who oversees Turner Sports.

“He said to me, ‘Maybe this is something you should skip in my age bracket,’” Albert said.

ESPN’s Hubie Brown, who is 86, also may not be in Orlando due to the significantly higher risks COVID-19 poses for people who are age 65 and older.

With Albert sidelined, TNT will turn to either Kevin Harlan, Ian Eagle or Brian Anderson as its top play-by-play man, or go with some combination of the three. Harlan would seem to have the inside track on the top job as he has been TNT’s No. 2 for years behind Albert.

Of course, all of this is assuming the league does actually play at the end of the month, which is no sure thing thanks to the spike in coronavirus cases in Florida and across the county.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver admitted as much in an appearance on a TIME 100 Talks.

“We are going to see as we go,” Silver said. “Certainly if cases are isolated, that’s one thing. A lot of the determination will be our understanding of how our community became infected. That will be part of our judgment in terms of whether we should continue. But certainly if we had a lot of cases, we are going to stop. You cannot run from this virus.”

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