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Chick Hearn Rumors

“There was no put on with him.” Stu Lantz, the Spectrum SportsNet color commentator said of his 15-year broadcast partner. “When you’re genuine, people see it. You can’t hide genuine. You can fake it all you want, but you can’t hide it. He would just make you feel so at home, plus he was in everybody’s living room, you know? With 82 games, he’s in your living room 82 times a year. You just fell in love with the guy.” Now, Chick’s no longer here, he sits above the western sideline at the highest point, but somehow, he’s still here. Really, even Stu says, “Every time I step into the arena, I think of him.”
Robert Horry remembers this time as a player with Chick by his side, “A lot of times when I was there, he wasn’t feeling good but he worked through it. He had to have his wife, Marge, come on the road with him. And think about it, most people would say ‘Nah, I’m just going to do home games.’ No, not Chick. He said ‘I love this game; I’m going to keep going.’ He started bringing his wife with him and he started battling all the illnesses. He kept going.”
The NBA did provide the broadcast team with several sound feeds, including crowd noise, some on-court mics and the refs. But Ireland and Thompson had to generate the energy and emotions of the playoffs themselves without being in the arena or surrounded by fans. “We were so happy just to get the games back that we would have broadcasted from a broom closet if they would have let us,” Ireland said. “… It’s a little different, and we all wish the fans were there, but Mychal and I had no problem getting energized. We were genuinely excited to help bring basketball back to the fans.”
Pat Riley on Jerry Buss: The very first time that I met him was when he had purchased the team from Jack Kent Cooke. I was working with Chick Hearn in the broadcast booth, but I remember meeting him at the Forum and had a very, very light discussion about the real estate business, and then I realized I was renting one of his apartments in Santa Monica, he and Frank Mariani. He said, ‘Oh yeah, that’s my building!’ and I said, ‘Well, that’s great, maybe I can get free rent or something like that!’ But I do remember that there was this zest and this absolute excitement and enthusiasm that he had when he bought the Lakers and he became the owner. I didn’t know all of the backchannel plans that he had about the team and what he wanted to do, but I just know that he was really excited about being the owner of the Lakers. And I was happy to be a part of it, because Jack Kent Cooke, as great a businessman as he was, he was tough. He was a little bit more military stylistic of leadership than Jerry was. I’m not saying that Jerry was the opposite, but he was a lot more fun than I think Jack was.