Longtime sports broadcaster Al Trautwig in 2015.

Longtime sports broadcaster Al Trautwig in 2015. Credit: Getty Images/Rob Kim

Al Trautwig realizes a return to full-time television work is not likely at this stage of his life and career. But that does not mean the 68-year-old has run out of things to say.

“I’m planning on writing a book,” he told Newsday recently. “There’s a lot of good stuff in there – or will be.”

That figures. Surely, he managed to collect plenty of good behind-the-scenes material during his decades in sports television, including 30 at MSG Networks.

“Oh, my God,” he said, indicating an affirmative.

Still, do not expect much dirt.

“That’s always a hard thing to do,” he said. “It’s always like, what kind of dirt can you dish? I’m not really sure yet. I don’t really have that much dirt.”

It has been three years since Trautwig left MSG when the network opted not to renew his contract.

In the interim, he has taught at Adelphi, his alma mater, through last spring. He also recently underwent cancer treatment. He did not specify the type of cancer but said he has been “cleared, and now it is just a matter of getting better.”

The cancer scare did affect his speech, which was not as clear as usual in a phone conversation with Newsday. But his plan when fully healthy is to return to college teaching and/or to tackle that book.

Trautwig grew up in Garden City South, graduated from Carey High School then Adelphi and currently lives in Glen Cove, part of a lifelong tie to Long Island that included stints as an Islanders stick boy and Nets ball boy in the 1970s.

Al Trautwig addresses graduates during Adelphi's graduation in 2017. Credit: Johnny Milano

He also over decades became one of the most versatile and recognizable figures in sports media nationally, including 16 Olympics (11 for NBC, 5 for ABC), and locally, notably as a studio host for MSG.

When he left MSG in 2021, he told Newsday, “I have over 30 years of wonderful memories at MSG. Unfortunately, the non-renewal of my contract after 30 years with no real explanation is not one of them."

MSG said at the time, "Al will always be one of the great broadcasters in sports television and we wish him all the best."

Trautwig took a leave of absence in September 2019 for what was described as personal reasons after he appeared unwell to many viewers during coverage of a Rangers preseason game.

That December, he returned with a pre-recorded interview of then Rangers president John Davidson, but he did not appear for the rest of that winter sports season or the following one.

Trautwig said he holds no grudge against MSG.

“I think when you work in this business long enough, you’re prepared for that,” he said. “I was disappointed, but I wasn’t shocked.”

He added, “I’m very happy. The MSG thing ran its course.”

Might he someday return to TV?

“Anything is possible,” he said, “but when you get to my age, I think it’s very hard to work your way in there.”

MSG Networks broadcaster Al Trautwig works the Knicks-Bulls game at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 11, 2013. Credit: Getty Images

He always will have the memories.

“Oh, my God, yeah; it was fantastic,” he said. “[The Knicks] should have won a championship [in 1994], and they didn’t. They were in a great run.

“On any given night, for the longest time, they were good enough to win. And the Garden was electric. Pat Riley was there, and it was fantastic.”

He said he still thinks about the games the Knicks could have won early in the 1994 NBA Finals against the Rockets that would have wrapped up the title even before the teams went to Houston for Games 6 and 7, where the Rockets secured a 4-3 series victory.

“They were easily in a position to win, and they didn’t, and that bothered me,” he said.

Trautwig said he still watches sports avidly, including the Knicks.

“They have a lot of heart,” he said. “It seems like they have a lot of resilience. Oh, God, I would love to see [a championship].”

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