By Veronica An
Perhaps one of the best recognized voices in broadcast sports, Francis (Chieck ) Hearn was the voice of the Los Angeles Lakers for 42 years. In 1965, he began an astounding broadcasting streak which lasted 3,338 games until a flight delay forced him to miss a game on December 16, 2000. Hearn is remembered for his unique turns of phrase – saying “this game is in the refrigerator” when a Lakers victory seemed imminent – and that a player “can’t throw a pea in the ocean” when they were shooting poorly. Hearn coined now commonplace phrases such as, slam dunk, air ball, dribble drive and ticky-tack foul while broadcasting clear, concise play-by-plays. He was the first sportscaster elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 and also the recipient of the National Sportscaster of the Year in 1959, 1965, 1987. A statue of Hearn behind an Lakers sports desk sits in front of the Staples Center main entrance and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6755 Hollywood Blvd.