Mark Boyle, Slick Leonard
Pacers radio play-by-play announcer Mark Boyle (pictured with longtime broadcast partner the late Hall of Famer Bobby "Slick" Leonard) will call his 3,000th Pacers game on Saturday night in Phoenix.(Pacers Sports & Entertainment)

Mark Boyle On Calling 3,000 Pacers Games

Tonight’s Pacers - Suns game in Phoenix will be my 3,000th Pacers broadcast.

When I signed my first contract with the Pacers – back when dinosaurs roamed the earth – it was a two year deal, so I knew I’d have a chance to do a minimum of 164 NBA games. But back then, I never gave any thought to how many games I would do; what really mattered to me at the time was that I had achieved a goal. I wanted to broadcast games at the major league level, and while my original goal was to become a major league baseball play-by-play broadcaster, my opportunities came in other sports and I wound up in the NBA.

As the years went by and the games added up, I started to notice numbers. I did my 1,000th Pacers game in Boston back in 2000, then reached 2,000 in 2011, and by then I was old enough to understand how lucky I was. Broadcasting is a fickle business, and I’ve known many talented guys that were fired for no reason any rational human being would understand, and others that never even got the chance to work at this level at all. To work for people like the Simons, and for management folks that not only tolerate my eccentricities, but give me the room I need to do this job the way I think it should be done, is extraordinarily rare, and I’m grateful.

Over the years, my friends and family have been so supportive. The broadcasters I’ve worked for and with offered so much advice and encouragement when I was finding my way as a professional. The players, coaches, and support staff with the Pacers have always been a treat to work with, and those that work on our broadcasts put such pride and passion into their work that’s it’s been humbling for me to work with all of them. I’m not from Indiana, but the people here have treated me as one of their own from day one, and I hope I’ve earned that over time. What I’m really trying to say here is that this has been an experience that has surpassed anything I ever imagined, and to the extent that doing 3,000 games is an achievement, it belongs to all of you as much as it does to me.

Tonight in Phoenix, we broadcast our 3,000th Pacers game together. Thank you for making it the pleasure and privilege of a lifetime.