Some of the things we miss about sports during this indefinite shutdown are obvious: the daily routine of games, the highlights, the discussion and analysis. Others are less apparent, but no less painful: a fan’s antics in the stands, a funny press conference quote, an announcer’s catchphrase.
Mike Breen and his signature “Bang!” call have been constants in the lives of NBA fans for over two decades. It’s such a perfect catchphrase that you can watch an 11-minute compilation of “Bang!” calls on YouTube and it still doesn’t get old.
The greatest “Bang!” Breen ever delivered is unquestionably the incredulous double-bang after Stephen Curry’s fearless 2016 game-winner against the Thunder. Even in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, though, he managed to give us a rival to that call.
The NBA released a coronavirus safety message from Breen on Wednesday morning in which he laments the league’s forced hiatus and cautions fans to wash their hands, not touch their face and practice social distancing. He concludes the video by, well, it’s better not to spoil it.
He called “Bang!” even before the shot went through the hoop!
He could have ended up like Nick Young or Kemba Walker, prematurely celebrating a shot that didn’t fall, but Breen is just that good. When he says “Bang!” the ball has no choice but to drop through the net.