- Mike Breen
Mike Breen Born May 22, 1961
New York City, New York
Education Fordham University Occupation Play-By-Play Commentator Title Lead Play-by-Play, NBA on ABC Sports and ESPN Notable credit(s) Broadcaster of the Year, 1998 National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Mike Breen on ESPN Official website
Michael "Mike" Breen (born May 22, 1961) is a play-by-play commentator for the NBA on ABC and the lead commentator for New York Knicks games on the MSG network. He also works NBA games for ESPN, and was formerly a play-by-play announcer for New York Giants preseason games, as well as for regular season NFL games on both Fox and NBC.
Credited for creating the phrase Feel the Bang, Breen was sued by both Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Vining.
Breen, a 1983 graduate of Fordham University, is currently in his 19th season as an NBA broadcaster, with some of those 19 taking place while Breen worked for NBC up until 2002, the network's last year as both an NBA and WNBA broadcaster. He is also the main voice for New York Knicks games on MSG Network. He first worked with the Knicks as a radio announcer for WFAN from 1992 to 1997, when he was promoted to television play-by-play upon Marv Albert's firing following his infamous sex scandal. He later became Albert's backup upon his return in 1999, before finally becoming the lead play-by-play upon Albert's second dismissal in 2004. On February 8, 2006, with the departure of Al Michaels from the network, ABC announced that Breen would take over as the lead broadcaster for the NBA, including the NBA Finals. His broadcasting career started doing play-by-play for the Marist College Red Foxes basketball team in 1985. Other than his role as ABC's main play-by-play on Sundays, Breen usually works for ESPN on Fridays, and occasionally on Wednesdays, with the rest of his schedule reserved for MSG.
When the Knicks returned to the NBA Playoffs in 2011, he did not call any of the games for MSG due to his involvement with ESPN and ABC; he did call Games 3 (with the MSG broadcasts handled by Kenny Albert) and 4 for ESPN and ABC, respectively.
Some of Breen's current and past broadcast partners were employed with the Knicks at one point. The list includes former Knicks head coaches Hubie Brown and Jeff Van Gundy, former Knicks players Mark Jackson and Walt Frazier, and current Knicks radio color announcer John Andariese.
In addition, he is also the voice of the NBA Elite series, beginning with NBA Elite 11, alongside his usual ESPN partners Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy. However, the series was canceled indefinitely.
Breen has done 5 Olympic Games in his career, 1 Winter Olympics and 4 Summer Olympics. At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Breen called basketball, handling play-by-play for both the men and the women. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Breen called ski jumping. Breen served as a play-by-play announcer for NBC Sports coverage of men's and women's Basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Breen has been a fixture on the radio as well. He began his professional radio career as a sportscaster on WNBC radio in the early 1980s, and frequently substituted for Dave Sims as host of "SportsNight" on the station. From 1989 to 2000, Breen did the sports segment on the WFAN and nationally syndicated Imus in the Morning talk/comedy radio show. Breen became noted for his deadpan delivery of false sports news, such as in the mid-1990s reporting that in the previous night's Mets game, "Félix Millán went 4-for-4 with 3 runs scored" (Millán retired in 1977).
Mike resides in Manhasset, New York with his wife Rosanne and their three children Michael, Nicole, and Matthew.
"Lefty layup, banks it in!"
"Flips it up and in"
"Banks it in"
"Throws it down!"
"It'll count if it goes..."
"Oh, tough shot!"
"Puts it in!"
"Knocks it down!"
(a player's name) "On the drive"
"(a player's name) from way downtown!"
"Nice soft touch"
"(a player's name) down low"
"Ties the game!" (after a clutch shot made in a game or after a crucial shot that ties a game in its crucial moments)
"Blocked by (insert name of player)!" (whenever a shot is blocked)
"What a play by (player)!" (when a player makes an incredibly unbelievable shot)
"And the (team who tied the game) came back from (deficit from the team who tied the game) down to tie the game!"
"What an emotional scene!"
"Gets inside!" (when a player drives to the hoop for either a dunk or a layup)
"Oh, this is a sight to see!" (whenever something unexpected happens)
"The (team)'s are pouring it on" (when a team goes on a long run or a blowout)
"Count it, and a foul (or and one)!"
"Oh pretty move from (player)"
"(player) for the win.....BANG!!!"
"Oh, he Put it in!!!"
"(player) for the win...no good!"
"Is it the shoes?"
"Wild Shot by (player)"
Notable games called
- 1998 NBA Playoffs, Game 4 - In the first of the three massive brawls Breen has covered, the New York Knicks and Miami Heat battled in a fight that included New York head coach Jeff Van Gundy hanging from the legs of Miami center Alonzo Mourning.
- 1999 WNBA Finals, Game 2 - In his stint as lead WNBA broadcaster for NBC, Breen called the league's most memorable game; with time running out between the New York Liberty and Houston Comets (and the Comets leading both the best-of-three series and the game), Liberty point guard Teresa Weatherspoon hit a shot from beyond halfcourt to win the game for New York.
- 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 7 - Breen (then filling in for Tom Hammond, who was recovering from heart surgery) called Game 7 of the East semifinals between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors; the game ended when Vince Carter's attempted game winner hit the rim and bounced off.
- 2002 Eastern Conference First Round, Game 5 - Filling in for an injured Marv Albert, Breen called a double-overtime deciding Game 5 between the Indiana Pacers and New Jersey Nets for TNT. The game featured a game-tying halfcourt shot from Pacers star Reggie Miller, though the Nets would win.
- 2002 Eastern Conference Finals, Game 3 - Breen, with partner P. J. Carlesimo on NBC, called one of the greatest comebacks in NBA playoff history, as the Boston Celtics overcame a 25-point deficit to defeat the New Jersey Nets, 94-90. Breen's call:
“ And the Celtics have just overcome a 25-point deficit to beat the Nets! Give them credit, as they never gave up. ”
- Pacers–Pistons brawl - Perhaps Breen's most noted assignment was the November 19, 2004 game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. Breen was calling that game alongside former NBA star Bill Walton on ESPN. With 45 seconds left, a brawl broke out between Pacers players and Pistons fans. Breen's description of the event:
“ ...Now Artest has jumped over the scorers' table, and is trying to get down to the bench! Artest is in the stands! Oh, this is awful! Fans are getting involved. Stephen Jackson's in the fans! Rasheed Wallace going into the stands! The security is trying to somehow restore order! Fans and players are getting involved, and the players are trying to help each other out! ”
- 2006 NBA Playoffs, First Round, Game 4 - Now the lead broadcaster for the NBA on ABC, Breen called the 2006 NBA Playoff game between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers. The game featured a comeback by the Lakers, culminating with a Kobe Bryant shot at the buzzer in overtime with Breen yelling an exclamatory "Bang!"
- 2006 NBA Finals, Game 5 - Calling his first NBA Finals, Breen was the voice of a classic and controversial NBA Finals game, which ended in overtime after a disputed foul and a botched time-out that cost the Dallas Mavericks a victory and helped propel the Miami Heat to a title.
- Knicks–Nuggets brawl - When the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets fought on December 16, 2006, Breen was doing play-by-play for the MSG Network alongside Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier.
- 2008 NBA Finals, Game 4 - Breen was with Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy on ABC when the Boston Celtics rallied from a 24-point first half deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Kobe Bryant's 61 point game at MSG (2/2/2009) - Breen called the action for MSG with Walt "Clyde" Frazier on Bryant's 61-point performance, the most by a player at Madison Square Garden.
- Amar'e Stoudemire's return to Phoenix (1/7/2011) - In his return to Phoenix Stoudemire scored 23 points in a Knicks' 121-96 blowout win over the Suns. The game was aired on ESPN but Breen opted to call the game on the MSG Network; Mike Tirico took his place on ESPN.
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