May 22, 1961 |
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Notable credit(s)||Broadcaster of the Year, 1998 National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Lead Play-by-Play, NBA on ABC Sports and ESPN|
Michael "Mike" Breen (born May 22, 1961) is an American play-by-play sports commentator for NBA on ABC and is the lead announcer for New York Knicks games on the MSG network. Breen also calls NBA games for ESPN, and was formerly a play-by-play announcer for the New York Giants' preseason games. Breen also called regular NFL season games for both NFL on Fox and NFL on NBC.
Breen, a 1983 graduate of Fordham University,[dead link] is currently[when?] 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 1992–97, 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. He has also called college basketball games for ESPN as well.
When the Knicks made the 2011 NBA Playoffs, 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 former 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.[dead link]
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 1989–2000, 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).
Notable games called
- 1998 NBA Playoffs, Game 4 – In the first of the three massive brawls Breen has covered, the 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.
- 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 7 – Breen (then filling in for Tom Hammond, who was recovering from heart surgery) called Game 7 between the Philadelphia 76ers and 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 on November 19, 2004, during an NBA season game between the Pacers and Detroit Pistons. Breen was calling the game live on ESPN alongside former NBA player Bill Walton. With 45 seconds left, a fight broke out between Indiana Pacers players and Detroit Pistons fans. Breen's description of the event:
|“||...The problem is, if Wallace is ejected, I'm not sure, he'd have to walk past the Pacer bench to go- 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 trying to somehow restore order! Fans and players are going at it, and the players are trying to help each other out! All the players now, they're jumping in there to try and get the other players out because the fans have come involved! Oh, what a sad scene, here at the Palace!||”|
"This is a Disgrace!"
- 2006 NBA Playoffs, First Round, Game 4 (4/30/2006) – 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:
- 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 a fight between New York Knicks players and Denver Nuggets players broke out during an NBA season game on December 16, 2006, Breen was doing play-by-play for the MSG Network alongside Hall of Famer Walt 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.
- 2011 NBA Finals, Game 2 - Down by 15 points with just under 6:30 left in the game, the Dallas Mavericks came back to beat the Miami Heat in what Breen called "one of the most incredible comebacks in NBA Finals history". The Mavericks went on to win the championship.
- Jeremy Lin's emergence in the NBA (2/10/2012) – With injuries to Baron Davis and Carmelo Anthony and an absence of a commanding point guard, Jeremy Lin steps in and helps the Knicks spark a winning streak and a boost of confidence. Dubbed "Linsanity", Lin's play is highlighted in a 38-point performance in a victory against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
- 2013 NBA Finals, Game 6 - LeBron James led a profound comeback in the fourth quarter against the Spurs, and erased a ten-point deficit. Ray Allen's three-point shot sent the game into over time, and the Heat eventually won in a thriller to send the series to a Game 7. Breen's enthusiastic call of Allen's three:
|“||James catches, puts up a three, won't go! Rebound Bosh, back out to Allen, his three-pointer, bang! Tie game with five seconds remaining!||”|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Mike Breen|
- Under The Radar with Mike Breen at NBA.COM
- Mike Breen ESPN Biography
- Mike Breen at the Pistons-Pacers brawl