Statue of Chick Hearn Unveiled At Staples Center
Marge Hearn with the just unveiled statue of her late husband, Laker broadcaster Chick Hearn.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — The clouds parted this afternoon when it came time for the unveiling of Chick Hearn's bronze statue in a ceremony attended by Laker players, broadcast teammates, friends and family who spent so many years listening to Hearn dribble play-by-play and shoot Chickisms from his "words eye view."
"He has more power up there," broadcast partner Stu Lantz said about the afternoon rain stopping. He quickly moved the program forward because, "Chick would be saying 'lets get this show on the road.' "
Laker fans were in Star Plaza as well, most wearing Laker Gold ready for tonight's Game 2. A few held jerseys that matched the Staples Center banner with Chick Hearn's name and a microphone. One fan was late, left standing at the back of the crowd holding up a Chick Hearn bobble-head as if it was a way for the Laker broadcaster to witness his own unveiling.
Of course, Marge Hearn was center court, with the playful part of many speeches focusing on her as the long suffering wife of the man who never spoke slowly. Former Lakers players Byron Scott and James Worthy, Kings broadcaster Bob Miller and former Hearn sidekick Keith Erickson all welcomed Mrs. Chick Hearn, crediting her for Chick's wit.
Marge sat through the ceremony, one of many through the years, with a quiet charm. Yet after the black curtain came down, the flurry of purple and gold confetti was sent flying, some landing on Chick, she was moved. "This is delightful," she told those nearby, one of whom offered her a microphone.
The statue shows Hearn sitting at his broadcasting desk, appearing as if he is about to call a slam dunk or the end of a fast break. Next to him is an empty seat so fans can sit next to him. This is, as Lantz told the crowd, the only time someone else can sit at the desk with Chick and get a word in.
Marge walked slowly up to the statue, reached out and touched the shoulder as she became the first to sit in the open seat.
"What would Chick say right now?" asked Lantz.
"Marge, put down that microphone and leave it to the pros." she quipped. The fans cheered after hearing that Hearn wit once more.