Steve Albert, Boxing and Basketball Play-by-Play Man, Is Retiring

Courtesy of the Phoenix Suns
Steve Albert

He called title fights at Showtime for more than two decades and most recently worked for the NBA's Phoenix Suns.

Steve Albert, a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame and play-by-play voice of the NBA's Phoenix Suns for the past five seasons, is retiring after a 45-year career in broadcasting, he announced Tuesday.

The enthusiastic Albert called more than 300 title fights — including the infamous 1997 bout in which Mike Tyson bit off a part of Evander Holyfield's ear — for Showtime Championship Boxing during a 24-year span.

He also spent 19 other seasons in the NBA: 13 with the New Jersey Nets, five with the Golden State Warriors and one with the New Orleans Hornets. And he was a fixture on the New York sports scene, calling games for baseball's Mets, football’s Jets and the NHL's Islanders.

"By doing this now while I'm relatively young and healthy, it gives me the time to pursue other interests and do things with family and friends that wouldn't ordinarily be possible when you have an 82-game schedule that includes so much traveling and unusual hours," Albert said in a statement. "This was not a particularly easy decision because I still enjoy calling the games, the creativity involved with that, and the camaraderie. The major factor was the travel lifestyle."

"We were very fortunate five years ago to bring in someone of Steve's caliber and experience, and in the time since, his tireless preparation and infectious personality brought Suns fans watching on TV much closer to the action," Phoenix Suns president Jason Rowley said. "While we will miss his superb talent and witty delivery, our Suns family congratulates Steve on an extraordinary career, and we wish him nothing but the best in his retirement."

Albert worked alongside analyst and former Suns player Eddie Johnson on Fox Sports Arizona telecasts.

A native of Brooklyn, Albert is a member of a famed family of sportscasters: His older brothers are New York legend Marv Albert of Turner Sports and former Denver Nuggets announcer Al Albert, and his nephew is Kenny Albert, who does NFL and MLB games for Fox Sports and NHL games for NBC Sports.

Both Steve and Marv served as ballboys for the New York Knicks, and Steve was at courtside when the team won the 1970 NBA championship.

Albert began his broadcasting career while attending Kent State University, when he did play-by-play for the Springfield Kings of the American Hockey League. He then announced games for the Cleveland Crusaders of the World Hockey Association and hosted a pregame show for the Cleveland Indians.

Albert was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007. He twice was named Announcer of the Year by the International Boxing Federation.