Foley, who has been doing Rockets radio since 1987, is retiring at the end of the season, as is play-by-play voice Gene Peterson, who's been behind the microphone for 33 years. Foley hopes to be back for the playoffs in May.
Before last night's game against the Boston Celtics, Foley and Peterson took time out for an interview.
"It's a long run, no question about that, but it just doesn't seem like 33 years has gone by yet. I mean, it boggles my mind," Peterson said.
"It's been a great run for both of us, and I couldn't have had a better partner," Foley added.
They've made some memorable calls, like this one against Golden State in 1993.
"... Played by (Vernon) Maxwell, he runs it up at the buzzer ..." Peterson narrates as the Rockets' Allan Leavell inbounded the ball toward Hakeem Olajuwon for an alleyoop attempt but the pass overshot the mark. Maxwell retrieves the ball at the right corner of the basket, then attempts a wild shot from the corner.
Suddenly, Foley chimes in: "He hit it! He hit it! That's good! It's good! The Rockets win!
And when the clock didn't start in Utah in the '94 playoffs:
"Well, start the time clock! They're not even starting the clock! They didn't even start the clock! They haven't even started the clock! They haven't yet! Something's gotta give here! What's going on here?"
The Jazz inbounded the ball with 13.5 seconds remaining in the game, and play continued for several seconds without the clock ticking. But the Rockets forced a turnover, and eventually ran out the clock. "Can you believe this? They haven't even started the clock -- we got it anyway! We got the ball back! It's over!" the duo continued at the top of their lungs.
"We were shouting as loud as we were because the clock keeper was right in front of us," Foley explained. "And, you'd think that he could hear it."
And sometime soon, this NBA odyssey will end for Gene Peterson and Jim Foley. We just don't know exactly when.
"If you got to the final game of the regular season and you knew that was going to be your finale, I think the emotion of that game would really come out. But hopefully, the Rockets will make a big run in the playoffs, and we won't know what's gonna be the last game," Foley said.
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