In the pantheon of legendary sports broadcasters, Dick Vitale is right near the top. He’s been calling basketball games on ESPN literally since the beginning, and he’s carved out quite a niche for himself with his bombastic personality and a genuine enthusiasm for the game.
His inimitable voice and iconic catchphrases are as much a part of college basketball as anything that happens on the court. Beyond that, Vitale is an entertaining presence on social media, where the avid music fan has been sometimes known to live tweet concerts like Billy Joel and Barry Manilow.
And as a veteran analyst, he’s never been shy about voicing his opinion. He’s been a vocal critic of LaVar Ball’s antics and even called out his own network for their recent coverage of Ball’s attempts to undermine Lakers coach Luke Walton.
On Wednesday, he will join Mark Jackson and Ryan Ruocco to call the Celtics’ game against the Clippers at TD Garden as part of ESPN’s crossover initiative that will mix and match NCAA and NBA broadcasters and analysts. We caught up with Dickie V earlier this week to talk about his early years in broadcasting, as well as some of the highlights of a career that has spanned more than four decades.