The great media reporter Bryan Curtis wrote a column on Marv Albert last night, that highlights both the greatness and creepiness of the 77-year-old broadcaster, who might be wrapping up his final season as a basketball announcer.
His exclamation of surprise—“Oh!”—sounds like a foodie who has just stumbled onto the best cheeseburger of their life.
The best was when Albert used to subtly troll his partners. During the ’92 NBA Finals, Magic Johnson did color commentary that sounded like his tweets. “Marv,” Johnson said during Game 1, “nobody better leave their TV set, because there’s going to be some great plays in this series.” “A live promo offered up here by Magic,” Albert said.
In 1997, Vanessa Perhach said Albert sexually assaulted her in a Virginia hotel room. (Perhach said Albert bit her during the assault.) Albert called the NBA Finals while the case was pending. During the trial, Albert pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault and battery, which caused NBC to fire him. Then Albert went on a network interview tour, denying Perhach’s account and claiming he was the victim of “extortion.”
Less than two years after his firing, NBC rehired him. In the age of #MeToo, none of this would have happened: not the victim-blaming TV tour, not the instant rehiring, and certainly not a network gig within two years. Though Albert insisted on his innocence, it’s not hard to think that, today, the second half of his career never would have happened at all.
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