Longtime Sixers announcer Marc Zumoff is hanging up his headset after nearly 40 years.
The Philadelphia legend and Temple grad, known to most simply as “Zoo,” called more than 2,100 Sixers games over his career, and has been the television voice of the team since 1994.
In a letter posted on NBC Sports Philadelphia, Zumoff explained his reasons for retiring:
Zumoff was a constant during the team’s many ups and downs, including during the Sam Hinkie era, where he remained upbeat despite season after season of low ratings and few wins.
“Listen, there’s only 30 of us who do what I do for a living,” Zumoff told the Inquirer in 2018. “So for me to say any aspect of my job is suffering would be ludicrous. Chemotherapy, that’s tough. I didn’t mope for a second. I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t mad at anybody. I got it. I understood the Process.
“Broadcasting for a team that’s losing is just something you have to figure out a way to work around,” he said.
In a statement, NBC Sports Philadelphia called Zumoff a “beloved and respected icon” and praised the professionalism and dedication he exhibited over the course of his long career.
“Most importantly, he’s a generous, engaged and caring member of our community who has made a positive impact on countless others, and inspired and encouraged many to follow his path into basketball and broadcasting,” the network said.
Alaa Abdelnaby, who has called Sixers games alongside Zumoff since 2015, said the longtime broadcaster was irreplaceable.
“Marc was the most generous partner I’ve ever had. His professionalism and preparation made an impression on me and made me better,” Abdelnaby told the Inquirer. “I feel very fortunate to have sat next to one of the best to do it.”
NBC Sports Philadelphia did not say who would be replacing Zumoff on Sixers games next season.
“We sincerely thank Marc Zumoff for all he’s done for this organization, this team and the city of Philadelphia over the last 27 years,” 76ers managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer said in a statement. “We’ll miss his iconic voice and trademark sayings, which have been staples during 76ers games for the better part of two decades.”
Zumoff joined PRISM in 1982, first serving as the network’s studio host before being named the Sixers’ play-by-play announcer. He was named the National Sports Media Association’s Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year in both 2018 and 2019, and he’s the member of two halls of fame — Temple University’s School of Communications and Theater Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Prior to joining PRISM, Zumoff was the play-by-play announcer for the now-defunct Philadelphia Fever indoor soccer team, for which he auditioned alongside another Philadelphia legend — longtime Phillies voice Harry Kalas.
Reaction to Zumoff’s announcement among Philadelphia sports media figures was a mixture of celebration and lament that the voice so inextricably linked to the Sixers had decided to walk away from the booth.