Becoming an NBA play-by-play man is extremely difficult. Only 45 people in the world currently hold that honor.
Over the years, there have been many talented basketball broadcasters, but only 10 can be included as the best in this list of current broadcasters in the National Basketball Association.
Meyers, a St. Louis native, has over 20 years of broadcasting experience working for NBC, Fox Sports, ESPN and Westwood One. He has covered the Olympics, NBA, NFL and golf.
He is currently the broadcaster for the L.A. Lakers. Meyers is known for calling buzzer beaters, especially those by Kobe Bryant.
Here are a few examples:
"Spins it up and in!":
With 35 years of broadcasting experience, including a quarter-century in the Nation's Capital, Steve Buckhantz is one of the longest tenured sportscasters in the Metropolitan area.
A four-time Emmy award winner, including the honor for Wizards Play-by-play in 2008, Buckhantz is in his 13th season as the television voice of the Wizards on Comcast SportsNet.
Buckhantz' dramatic game calls have crept into DC's sports lexicon. "Dagger," "Backbreaker," "Not Possible," are heard regularly on sports highlight shows around the country.
Here are a few examples:
Rathbun is one of the NBA's most recognizable and decorated play-by-play announcers,and he enters his 14th season as the television play-by-play voice for the Hawks.
He has added some significant broadcasting awards over the last few years. In April 2008, Rathbun was inducted into the media wing of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Each of the last two years, FSN South has walked away with an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement, Sporting Event/Game (Live Unedited), including one in 2009 for its broadcast of the Hawks-Celtics Game Six playoff contest from 2008.
A few examples of his play-calling:
"Get the women and children off the baseline!":
Entering his 31st year as the “Voice of the Clippers” and his 34th year in professional basketball, Ralph Lawler is an old veteran.
The NBA has long been Lawler’s great love. However, the versatile broadcaster is one of only a handful of announcers who have worked play-by-play in each of the four major pro sports leagues: NFL (San Diego Chargers), MLB (Philadelphia Phillies), NHL (Philadelphia Flyers) and NBA (76ers and Clippers).
His resume also includes broadcasting events as varied as ABA and college basketball, golf, tennis, track & field, auto racing, boxing and college football.
Ralph is a graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., and was inducted into his alma mater’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
He’s another in a long line of sportscasters who honed their craft in Peoria. Lawler’s list of honors include Emmy and Golden Mike Awards as well as past recognition as Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year during his stint in Philadelphia at WCAU AM & TV.
He has been named to the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame. His calls of “Bingo!,” “Fasten your Seatbelts” and "Oh Me Oh My" continue to be familiar favorites for Clippers fans throughout Southern California.
A few examples of his broadcasting style:
"Oh, me oh my!"
Boston Celtics fans have been blessed with a fabulous tradition on the court and that excellence has trickled through to the broadcasting booth where Mike Gorman, an incisive play-by-play man with a wealth of basketball knowledge, begins his 23rd year with the Celtics.
The critically acclaimed Gorman, a native of Dorchester, MA, has the enviable background of watching the dynasty-laden teams of the 60s.
A five-time Emmy award winner, Gorman was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.
Some of his most exciting calls:
One of the most recognizable sports personalities in the Bay Area, Bob Fitzgerald is currently in his 13th season as television play-by-play announcer for the Warriors. He is at his best when calling clutch shots by the Warriors.
Here are a few examples:
"He got it! A three!":
"For the ball game....GOOD!":
Swirsky, a legendary broadcaster for the Toronto Raptors, is currently the radio play-by-play voice of the Chicago Bulls.
He is well known for his "Swirsky-isms", which are his catch phrases. Some of his most popular include: "Onions, Baby, Onions", and "NBA Facial".
Here is a video of his top ten "Swirsky-isms":
Over the past decade Mike Breen has emerged as one of the NBA's signature voices. Breen is currently the lead play-by-play announcer for the New York Knicks telecasts on MSG, as well as for the NBA on ESPN and ABC.
Breen, who is a four time New York Emmy nominee in the category of "On-Camera Talent: Sports Play-by-Play," took home his first win in 2009 where he was recognized for his work with the New York Knicks on MSG.
He also has many catch phrases, though not as wild and wacky as Swirsky's. Some include: "Bang!", "Puts it in!", and "It's good!".
A few examples:
"It's good!', and "Bang!":
"Banks it in!":
Kevin Harlan's voice is well recognized in the NBA. His commentating voice has captured him many fans and audiences around the league.
Harlan also has catchphrases, and his most famous one is problaby, "Buckle up for....", as well as, "Right between the eyes!". In addition, Harlan also calls the NFL for CBS and Westwood One Radio.
A few examples of his calls:
"Right between the eyes!":
"He just sucked the gravity right out of the building!":
"Buckle up for....!":
Marv Albert is the best NBA broadcaster in history, period. He has been in the business for over 40 years, first as the voice of the New York Knicks, and now is the lead play-by-play man for the New Jersey Nets and TNT.
In addition to the NBA, Albert also has over 29 years of experience broadcasting the NHL, and also broadcasts the Super Bowl every year on Westwood One Radio.
His shrill, "Yes!" is his main catch phrase, and it is probably the most well-known in the NBA.
Why is Marv Albert the best in the business? This is why:
"Serving up a facial!":
"Yes, and the foul!":