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Albert says Yes to Nets

Voice of Knicks goes Jersey

NEW YORK — Marv Albert, the voice of the New York Knicks for 36 years until he parted ways with the MSG Network last summer, is coming back to Gotham as lead play-by-play man on 50 games of the New Jersey Nets.

The YES Network, which carries all the home and away games of the Nets, has signed Albert to a three-year deal that kicks off with the 2005-06 season.

The Nets’ current play-by-play man, Ian Eagle, whose contract expires this season, is negotiating for a new three-year deal with YES in which he’d cover the 30 games that Albert won’t be able to do because of his schedule.

Albert is TNT’s main announcer for nationally cablecast NBA games and he calls all the games of “Monday Night Football” on Westwood One Radio/CBS Radio Sports.

In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Bruce Ratner, principal owner of the Nets, said he would “never” try to censor Albert’s “initiative” to comment on the games without fear that management was second-guessing him.

In addition to calling 50 Nets games each year, Albert will host a 13-week half-hour show about pro basketball to run during the NBA season. Dolgin said Filippelli and Albert will work out the format of the show during the next few months. And Eagle is negotiating to host a magazine show about the Nets in addition to calling 30 games.

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