Former Cavs Coach, Sportscaster Injured In Car Accident

By DAVID WEINSTEIN, Associated Press Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Sportscasters Marv Albert and Mike Fratello (pictured, right) will miss the start of NBC's NBA playoff coverage after being injured early Thursday when their limousine hit a stalled truck on Interstate 295.

Fratello, 55, and Albert, 60, were cut on the face, and Albert had a concussion and a sprained ankle, state police spokesman Julian Castellanos said.

The announcers were returning from Indianapolis, where they called TNT's broadcast of the regular season finale between Indiana and Philadelphia. Albert and Fratello -- who also work for NBC -- flew on the 76ers' team charter to Philadelphia, where they were met by the limousine.

Albert was being held for observation at Helene Fuld Medical Center in Trenton, where they were taken after the 2:55 a.m. accident. Albert was in good condition and was to be held 24 hours for observation, the hospital said. Fratello was released at 9 a.m.

The NBA playoffs start this weekend, and Albert was scheduled to call games for NBC on Saturday and Sunday; Bob Costas will fill in.

Fratello will miss NBC's studio show.

Albert and Fratello are slated to call playoff games for Turner Sports next week.

"We're making contingency plans," Turner spokesman Greg Hughes said. "We're obviously very concerned about Marv and Mike and we're hopeful both will recover quickly. We will provide any support they need in the interim and we'll work with them on a timetable for their return."

Limousine driver Michael Begej broke his hip and had head injuries. He was in good condition, the hospital said. Neither of the two men in the delivery truck was injured, Castellanos said.

The accident occurred about five miles east of Trenton near the I-195 interchange in Hamilton Township.

Albert returned to NBC as its lead NBA play-by-play announcer in 1999, about two years after he was fired after pleading guilty to assault and battery. He started with NBC in 1977, and joined Turner in 1999.

Fratello, who coached the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers, has been with Turner since 1999. He rejoined NBC for this season. Fratello was coach of the year in 1986 with the Hawks.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)