Legendary basketball voice Marv Albert to retire after Eastern Conference finals

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NEW YORK — Yes! And it’s over.

Marv Albert, whose staccato sounds and sardonic wit launched millions of hoop dreams for both future players and wannabe play-by-play voices, will retire after working the Eastern Conference finals on TNT.

An NBA source confirmed Albert’s imminent retirement, which was reported earlier by The Post. The source said the official announcement could come as early as Monday.

Through his 60 years as a broadcaster, Albert, who turns 80 in June, called a variety of sports, including Rangers hockey on the radio for 32 years (“You have to be a little crazy to listen to hockey on the radio,” he once said), boxing on NBC, Major League Baseball studio work for the Peacock, NFL football on both TV and radio, sportscasts on local news shows and Wimbledon tennis.

His first love was basketball, which he tried playing during pickup games on the playgrounds of Brooklyn. While he never developed a great jumper, Albert, imitating NBA ref Sid Borgia, refined his signature “Yes! And it counts!” call. In 1963, Albert’s initial break came when he filled-in for the legendary Marty Glickman on a Knicks radiocast.

When it came to the Knicks, his quality calls were filled with equality. It did not matter if he was working a local or national telecast. Albert delivered both praise and criticism. Simply put, he didn’t treat viewers like morons. For anyone who believes a voice must tilt toward the home team, for those who say that’s what “fans want to hear,” go listen to an Albert call. The scales of hoop judgment are perfectly balanced between excitement and honesty.

This did rankle some of his critics, most notably Garden boss James Dolan. Not one to spray perfume on a landfill, Albert, along with his long-time partner, the late John Andariese, delivered on what they saw while the Knicks were sliding deeper into the toilet.

By 2004, Dolan had had enough and fired Albert.

Dolan believed Albert was too critical of the product. Dolan also claimed the dismissal had something to do with Albert not attending Knicks’ practice sessions. Knowing there would be — and there was — fan backlash, Dolan and his minions painted Albert as greedy, saying his departure was over him wanting an exorbitant contract. When the dust settled, Albert’s three decades with the Knicks was over.

He landed a gig calling Nets games on YES in 2005. Albert TNT’s national telecasts bagan in 1999, which continued enhancing his reputation as the NBA’s premier voice. Still, there were down times.

In 1997, Albert received a 12-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery charges in connection with a sex scandal. MSG and NBC fired Albert but brought him back less than two years later.

Yes, Albert kept pretty busy through all the years. At his peak, rushing from the booth to a studio, and on and off planes. A life spent behind a microphone. And a career summed up by the title of his 1993 biography.

“I’d love to but I have a game.”

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