In my opinion, Chick Hearn is the greatest pro basketball announcer
ever, and he was voted California's sports-caster of the year in February
1995. He had a streak of calling 3,338 consecutive Lakers games, between
Nov. 21, 1965 and December 16, 2001. His 3000th consecutive game was Jan 19, 1998. He is the voice of an era, and has seen it all.
the '50s he was the local sportscaster in Peoria, Illinois, and was
the voice of Bradley University and the Peoria Caterpillars. Born
Francis Dayle Hearn, the Aurora, Ill., native began his Lakers broadcasting
career in 1961.
has invented many descriptive phrases, called Chick-isms. Also, Chick
was the first to describe the distance of a shot in feet. Here is
a list and definition for many of them.
A shot the misses everything.
47 feet (of this 94x50 hunk of wood)
The front-court, the offensive zone.
Missed a very easy layup.
Fans who boo their own team when they play badly.
it with) Braille
An easy call for an official, e.g. a blatant foul.
When a player tosses up a series of "bricks" during the
course of a game.
hop (in the pea patch)
Traveling, (in the lane).
throw a pea in the ocean This team is shooting horribly.
throw a pie in an oven
Somebody made a bad pass.
with his hand in the cookie jar
Reaching in, got called for a foul.
Stew (Chick & Stu)
Used whenever somebody else is eating well as in "down in the
clubhouse they're eating Mrs. Johnson's home cooking... up here
we've got Chicken Stew"
Alley-oop to Michael Cooper.
Also called a Makeup call, a questionable call by the
referee to even out a previous questionable call that went the other
em') covered like a rug on your floor
Really close, tight defense.
Count if it goes... it goes!
A player is fouled in the act of shooting... and makes the shot.
Very bad defense, as if they weren't even there.
A shot which misses the rim, but hits the backboard.
10 to 5.
The shot hits the heel of the rim, bounces straight up and then
goes in. Don Nelson beat the Lakers in 1969 at the end of game 7
Drive to the basket while dribbling.
An attempt by a defender to draw a charging foul, usually one which
is disdained by the refs.
A shot where the ball rolls off the shooter's fingers.
A shot blocked with a lot of force and authority.
A score commonly found in football, 14-7, 21-14, etc.
One team misses an easy layup, and the other team rebounds and scores
A shot with a very flat trajectory.
A player picks up a loose ball that luckily is close by and has
an easy shot.
The remainder of the game, after it's in the refrigerator.
Give the ball to a team-mate & cut to the basket.
good lord and four disciples couldn't beat the Lakers tonight.
The Lakers are playing unbelievibly well.
goin' to the bank again!
For Cazzie Russell, who had a great bank-shot.
to the southern goal to our right.
left to right across your radio dial.
Chick is telling you the direction the team is bringing the ball
into the attacking 47 feet of this 94x50 hunk
it off like a T-formation quarterback
Just like it says, one player hands the ball to the other.
out to dry
(prefaced by "so and so left him") When someone fakes
a defender out of his shoes. Not quite as severe as in the
& out,) Heart-brrrreak!
A shot that appears to go in, but rattles off the rim & misses.
could be defender of the year - if everyone else dies.
A terrible defensive player.
has two choices, slim and none (and Slim just left town).
The player has no chance of success with this play.
human after all. When a player is on a streak and finally misses.
not a happy camper.
A bad call was made and a player got upset.
shot that from way out yonder.
A real long 3-point shot attempt.
thought he made it and so did I.
When someone shoots a good looking shot, but it misses.
A player who is cherry-picking (waiting around mid-court for a break-away).
Dribbling the ball, while running with a hip-hop step.
mustard's off the) Hot-dog
A player attempts an unnecessarily showy, flashy play which ends
up in a turnover or is otherwise unsuccessful.
he hit his wife that hard, she wouldn't even call the police.
that goes in, I'm walking home. Similar to a prayer, when the opponent
shoots a shot that is a prayer, a streak, or some amazing shot.(Usually
on the road)
When a player over-commits trying to intercept a pass, and gets
burned. Or goes down the smokestack.
Kicked him in the wallet...and he's got a thick wallet!
Kicked him in the rear, and he's well-paid.
A leaping shot in the lane, falling toward the basket.
)like refried beans on the stove--they're always hot.
This team is on a roll.
of referees in the building (, only 3 getting paid.)
The fans in the crowd are booing a call that they disagree with.
They are acting as if they are the refs.
Poor defense in which the lane opens up for a driving player like
a matador pulling his cape out of the way of a charging bull.
a) Motorcycle in a motordrome (velodrome)
When the ball spins around the rim several times before going in
or rimming out.
to the floor
A player drives past a defender who does not move at all.
When the game's in the pressure cooker.
hunk of wood
The dimensions of a basketball court.
harm, no foul (, no blood, no ambulance)
A non-call by an official when significant contact has occurred.
A pass made to another player without looking at him.
Not a smart play.
him like a postage stamp
Very close tight defense.
A steal so quick the victim didn't even see it happen.
the garbage (and put it in the trashcan)
A player picks up a loose ball that luckily is close by and has
an easy shot.
a player is faked out badly, he's put in the popcorn machine,
which is so far off the court and out of the play. A defender
jumps to block a faked shot, he gets faked so far out of the
play, (the popcorn machine in the lobby) leaving the resulting
shot wide open.
defender who is so faked out he's bouncing up and down trying
to block the shot, like a kernel popping in a popcorn machine,
A situation when the game is in the balance; e.g. a player at the
free throw line, his team down, 30 seconds left, etc....
the baby to bed
A soft lay-up.
game's in the) Refrigerator
(the door's closed, the light's out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's
getting hard, and the jello's jiggling)
The game is out of reach. (Sometimes says The game's in the Admiral.)
it back air-mail special.
A shot blocked with a great deal of intensity.
An outside shot with plenty of time to set up.
Lakers') shooting leaves a lot to be desired.
See can't throw a pea in the ocean.
is straight as a string but didn't get it
Kind of like a frozen rope that missed.
a prayer, but it wasn't answered (even on Sunday).
A very low-percentage shot that missed.
Hector was a pup
A very long time ago, such as The Lakers haven't had the lead since
Hector was a pup.
couldn't beat) the Sisters of Mercy
The Lakers are playing terribly.
A dunk with authority, also Chick was the first to use the phrase
So slow, I saw him on an escalator yesterday and a step passed him.
Just like it says, he's real slow.
Lakers are) spending too much time refereeing.
The players are complaining too much about calls that didn't go
has) Spalding (or the Commissioner's name) tatooed on his forehead!
somebody just recieved a serious, inyourface, shot rejection.
Lakers are) standing!
The players are standing around, irritating Chick greatly. (Rumor
has it that Chick had to be positioned away from the players bench
as this bothered the players and coaches).
left, shoot right
Picture Kareem's skyhook motion.
Dribbling the ball in the same spot, as to tattoo the floor.
The recipient of a "telegraphed" pass is so obvious, that
the defender knows which way to reach to block it. It's as if a
telegraph message was sent to the recipient in advance so that he
would know that it was coming. The defender picks up on this and
can then block the pass.
a hot dog pass and the mustard came off and is all over the floor.
A fancy play that went wrong.
it to the heavens and the gods kissed it.
made a tough basket
up a brick
When a player tosses up a particularly errant shot.
up a prayer ... (it's answered!!!)
A wild shot that will need a miracle to score... (it goes in!!)
get it done
(could be a Stu'ism but they both use it)
When a player's statistics as in FT% are acceptable.
win the tip, that means they get the ball to start the fourth quarter!
Chick always says this to start the game because whoever wins the
tip gets possesion to start the 4th. The other team gets it to start
the 2nd & 3rd.
is your World Champion Lakers' basketball network!
Chick's station ID when the Lakers were the world champs.
A foul called when very little contact has been made.
Saving a ball from going out-of-bounds with delicate balance.
him to the third floor and left him at the mezzanine.
The offensive player pump faked the defender,(who leaps to block
the shot) and the player with the ball either goes up while the
defender is coming down and/or draws the foul and hits the shot.
The offensive player has embarrassed the defender who overplays
for the block. Similar to the popcorn machine.
much squeezin' the grape
Refers to drunk fans, who had too much wine (or whatever).
A player gets double figures in three statistical categories, usually
points, rebounds, and assists. Also could be steals or blocked shots,
but these are rarer.
Jamaal Wilkes' shot from the base-line, as automatic as a layup.
24-second clock has been put to beddie-bye
This occurs at the end of a quarter when the game clock has less
time remaining on it than the 24-second clock; i.e. the only clock
which is important on the current play is the game clock.
turnovers are coming like grapes: in bunches.
Lots of turnovers are happening.
go to their bread and butter man, who also delivers ice.
A reliable player makes a clutch shot, under pressure.
the rim as an ally
A reverse lay-up using the rim as an obstacle against the defender.
Butt, rear end, ass, ... (whatever)
Chick's description of their commentary.
Working on his Wrigleys
He's chewing gum.
Wound up like a toy on Christmas morning
He's playing with enthusiasm.
& forth like a) Windshield wiper
Moving on a pivot foot just like...(you know)
gotta know your horses when you go to the track
Know your opponent.
up and down
Dribbling the ball, like it is a yo-yo on a string.
not all of these were invented by Chick, but he made the name more well-known.
James Worthy (who came through in big playoff games)
Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Kareem Abdul Jabbar (7'2") - the Captain
Kurt Rambis (Remember his thick black framed safety glasses.)
Dick Barnett (had a great fall-away shot)
Harold Hairston (I don't know if Chick made this one up)
Jerry West (great in clutch situations)
the Quick, Nick at Night, Nicky V, Nick van Excellent,
Nick van Excitement, The Cat, Nicky the Kid
Nick Van Exel
Anthony Miller (got at Michigan St. due to his weight problem)
Michael Cooper (great defender)
Wilt Chamberlain (not sure if Chick invented this one)
Gail Goodrich (who was one of the shortest Lakers).
Sedale Threatt (great at stealing the ball)reek
Jerry West (who's from Cabin Creek, West Virgin