NEW YORK (AP) _ Less than two years after being fired, Marv Albert is back at NBC.

NBC, which fired Albert in September 1997 after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges in a sex case, rehired the play-by-play announcer on Tuesday.

``It still hasn't completely set in,'' Albert said. ``It's kind of a euphoria _ a nice, weird feeling.''

Albert won't return to his former role as the network's top play-by-play man for NBA games, but will complement its existing teams.

``I'm just so happy to be back and to be part of the NBC situation. ... There will be plenty of national exposures and I'm very satisfied to come home,'' Albert said.

Albert agreed to a multiyear deal with NBC. He will return to NBA coverage and will work about 15 regular-season games and the first four weekends of the playoffs.

He will also be involved in boxing telecasts during the 2000 Olympics and hockey in the 2002 Winter Games.

NBC sports chairman Dick Ebersol made it known shortly after firing Albert that he was interested in bringing him back.

Reports that Fox was close to signing Albert for its NFL games prompted Ebersol to work quickly.

``I was actually reading that Marv was in discussions with Fox and it told me that this was the opportunity to move or we wouldn't be able to do this for three or four years,'' Ebersol said. ``I realized I'd better react immediately.''

Fox executive producer Ed Goren understood Albert's decision.

``On the one hand, we were looking forward to Marv being part of the NFL on Fox, but I'm thrilled that Marv will be back on NBC where he belongs,'' Goren said.

Albert began his national comeback this season when he was hired by Turner Sports in February to work NBA games.

He will make his return to NBC, where he worked for 20 years, before the end of the year _ likely on a studio show or NBC's first NBA telecast on Christmas Day. He will also continue with a full-slate of some 25 regular-season games and a handful of postseason games on Turner.

Albert also resigned from Madison Square Garden network shortly after being fired by NBC, but was brought back on board with MSG one year ago as the anchor of ``MSG Sports Desk'' and as the radio play-by-play voice for half of the New York Knicks games.

Albert's Turner debut came on TNT's broadcast of the Los Angeles Lakers game at Phoenix on April 2.

``It's better for me to look ahead than look back,'' Albert said. ``Everything's gone in the right direction in the past year.''

Albert's last NBA national telecast for NBC was the NBA Finals in 1997. He also worked the NFL playoffs later that year.