Hornets fans will have to experience something next season unprecedented in Charlotte NBA history:
Games without Steve Martin providing play-by-play.
The Hornets announced Tuesday morning that Martin will retire following this season from his current role on the team’s radio broadcasts. Martin has called every season of NBA basketball in Charlotte, either on television or radio, since the original Hornets started playing in the now-gone Charlotte Coliseum in 1988.
Martin started out as play-by-play announcer when the NBA expanded to Charlotte. He later moved to the television side, partnering with color analyst Gil McGregor. When the Hornets moved to New Orleans, Martin moved with them in 2001, but he maintained a residence in Charlotte. When the NBA returned to Charlotte with the expansion Bobcats in 2004, Martin went to work again in Charlotte. After initially doing radio with the Bobcats, Martin again moved over to radio, pairing with Dell Curry, the Hornets’ all-time leading scorer.
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Three seasons ago, Martin returned to radio, calling games on the Hornets’ flagship station, WFNZ-AM 610.
This is Martin’s 30th season calling NBA games, and his 50th year in broadcasting. Martin also has done television calls on ACC basketball and football.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell