...the Utah Jazz gave to me... Hot Rod's final call.
April 27, 2009. It's the last time we hear Hot Rod Hundley call a game for the Utah Jazz. Much like other Jazz greats, John Stockton and Karl Malone, Hot Rod deserved to retire having seen the team that he devoted his career to win a championship. Instead, they all went out in a forgettable first-round loss on the road.
But like Stockton receiving a final hand from the Sacramento Kings crowd, Hundley received a similar ovation from the Laker fans at the end of last season. It's too bad that his last game couldn't have been at the ESA and couldn't be given a proper sendoff.
His run with the Jazz started with the team in 1974. Up until his retirement last season, he was the only holdover from the days when the team was known as the New Orleans Jazz. His longevity is rivaled by few. In January, Hot Rod called his 3000th game for the Utah Jazz,
Hot Rod's catch phrases were many, even if some of them are self-admittedly lifted from the late, great, Chick Hearn. Some of the all-time favorites are,
- Belt-high dribble
- With a gentle-push, and a mild arc, the ole cowhide globe hits home
- Good if it goes... it's gone.
- Frozen rope
- It's in the ole refrigerator
- You gotta love it baby
- Leapin' leaner
- Hammer dunk
His place in Jazz history is up there with Piston Pete, Stockton, Malone, Larry H Miller, and Jerry Sloan. All Jazz fans have only known up to this season is the distinctive voice of one Hot Rod Hundley. His retirement marks not only the end of an era in Jazz history, but in NBA history,
He'll be sorely missed.