Veteran radio announcer Johnny Most, whose gravelly voice became a legend to generations of Boston Celtics fans, has retired. Most, who called the play-by-play for 37 seasons from "high above courtside" at Boston Garden, said he is forgoing a 38th year because of ill health.

Most underwent a triple bypass operation that forced him to miss most of last season.

"It is only because of my health that I am forced to do this," he said. "Unfortunately, I am no longer strong enough to do play-by-play or color."

Most, 67, will not completely relinquish the microphone. He will host a radio pregame show called "The Johnny Most Show."

Celtics officials also announced that a banner in Most's name would be hoisted to the rafters at Boston Garden, near the broadcast booth, at a game against the Seattle SuperSonics on Dec. 3.

Most joined the Celtics in 1952 after announcing New York Knicks games for two years. He also did pregame and postgame shows for the New York Yankees and game broadcasts for the Giants baseball and football teams and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Most will be replaced by Glenn Ordway, his partner the last nine years. Doug Brown, a morning sports anchor on WEEI, will be color commentator.