Senior ESPN icon Mike Breen celebrated his 100th NBA Finals broadcast in Nuggets’ Game 5 victory

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How many decades have we witnessed ESPN’s Mike Breen broadcast basketball’s most important matches? After the Nuggets beat the Heat in Game 5 of the championship series, the Hall of Famer is entering one of the most respected marks that any television announcer would ever dream of achieving. 

The ABC and ESPN icon has reached yet another milestone as he delivered his 100th NBA Finals broadcast this Monday, becoming only the third basketball announcer on radio or television to accomplish this record. If we include the World Series and Stanley Cup Final, he is the sixth voice in the United States to attain it.

Breen was delayed to reach the mark in Game 3 of these past championship series as he had missed two matches of last year’s NBA Finals due to COVID-19.

“I knew how many years I had done the finals, but I never put it into a specific number of games,” he said about his 18th championship series. “I would have never said 100. For some reason, to hear that number was surprising to me, and it’s not something even in my wildest dreams that I thought I could do.

“I take it as an honor to reach that mark that I’ve been able to do that many.”

Take a look at NBA Commissioner Adam Silver conmemorate Breen’s latest achievement:

The iconic announcer worked for NBC during five seasons before joining ESPN in 2003. Breen was under contract with the cable station for one year after it had lost its’ NBA rights, and after Mike Tirico moved to “Monday Night Football, he finally became the top-basketball voice in 2006.

“I just cold-called (ESPN EVP Mark Shapiro). He asked why I had not called him earlier. And he hired me right away,” he admitted. “After NBC lost the NBA, I was pretty down because I wanted to do the NBA. When Mark hired me, I got to do a full slate of games and I was back in it.”

Breen reminisced on his first days in broadcasting as he appreciated everyone who helped him reach his 100th mark

When recalling who are some of the co-anchors he’s shared most NBA Finals with, he mentioned his first championship series in 2006 with Hubie Brown. However, he recognized his last 17 with Jeff Van Gundy and added it was the 15th time he shared the mic with Mark Jackson.

“To start my NBA broadcast career with the team where Jeff was assistant coach and Mark was a player, the foundation of the friendship was built early,” Breen said. “To have that comfort level on the air and knowing and trusting that your partners, whatever you throw at them, they’re going to be able to deal with and handle makes my job so much easier.”

This recognition comes after a very hard year for the Hall of Famer, after his family’s Long Island home caught fire last October and was completely destroyed. Breen keeps finding things he though he had lost from the incident.

“Every time they find something,” he said. “You felt like you won the lottery because it was something you felt you lost.”