For the next two weeks, while Stu Lantz deals with a family situation, the Lakers will have a new guy beside Joel Meyer helping out calling the action.
“Barhopping, fast-talking, wisecracking West Virginia basketball cult figure of the 1950s.”
“Hot Rod” Hundley played for the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers. Known for his flashy play, Red Kerr called Hot Rod, “Pete Maravich before Pete Maravich”
A two-time All Star, he would play with West and Baylor in the nascent stages of their careers and witness the birth of professional basketball in Los Angeles. From 3,000 in the Sports Arena, to seeing Doris Day and Jack Nicholson sit court side for the Finals.
Hot Rod found the ball in his hands in the 1962 Finals with a chance to dethrone The Bostonians. With Baylor and West covered, he passed to sharp shooting Frank Selvy for a baseline mid-ranger.
“I still call Frank long distance, and when he answers the phone, I say, ‘Nice Shot, Frank!” and hang up on him. I will never let him forget he missed that shot.”
“The cowhide globe hits home!”
Hot Rod would apprentice under “Old Golden Throat” as a color man until he would become the “Voice of The Jazz”. He would hold that title for 31 seasons and would call over three thousand games. He retired last year, his last game being the Lakers knocking the Jazz out of the playoffs.
It’s great to see the Hot Rod has come home.