NBA fans across the globe have heard Mike Breen’s enthusiasm at least once, even if they live outside of New York.
When Breen isn’t cracking jokes with Frazier or Mark Jackson, he’s yelling “Bang!” after a big shot. Breen explained in 2020 why he stuck with the phrase despite some early pushback.
Mike Breen is a longtime NBA announcer
Originally from Yonkers, N.Y., Mike Breen graduated from Fordham University — only seven miles away — in 1983.
The 2020-21 season marked Breen’s 29th season as an NBA broadcaster, and he’s spent many of those years with the New York Knicks. Breen started as the Knicks’ radio announcer for WFAN in 1992 and moved to television during Marv Albert’s hiatus after a sex scandal.
In 2004, Breen became the Knicks’ full-time television play-by-play announcer when the team parted ways with Albert.
Gamers will remember Breen, who also called the five Olympic Games from 1996-2008, for his work in EA Sports’ NBA Live.
Breen is famous for his signature “Bang!” call
Whenever Mike Breen is on the microphone, expect to hear him say “Bang!” plenty of times that night.
Breen sticks to his trademarks, even if the game is quickly turning into a blowout. Much like how Marv Albert is known for his “Yes!” call, Breen has long used “Bang!” upon a made shot.
Breen also uses “It’s good!” and “Puts it in!” to describe big, clutch shots. Naturally, Breen uses the phrase often in the postseason.
Some of Breen’s greatest calls, including Ray Allen’s famous 3-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, have featured that line.
Mike Breen stuck with the call despite some pushback
Many announcers have some sort of trademark, whether they’re calling a home run in baseball — Yankees announcer John Sterling can attest to that — or describing a made shot in basketball.
Mike Breen has used “Bang!” for the majority of his career. In a 2020 interview on CBS Sports Radio, Breen explained why he stuck with the phrase, even after receiving pushback.
“Even when I first started using it on TV, a TV-radio writer took a shot, saying, ‘That’s such a lame call. Why does he use that?’ It turned out to be something that became popular. But I started using it and I had a few people say to me, ‘Hey, I like the way that sounds. It’s a good way to do it.’ So I tried it more and then more people said they liked it, so I stuck with it.”
If that writer is still around and complaining, they’ll have to deal with Breen’s calls for years to come. Breen turns 60 in May and hasn’t shown any indication about retiring — or taking a lighter workload — anytime soon.