Antonio Harvey, Mike Barrett, Mike Rice Exit Blazers Radio & TV

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #20821
    Craig_Adams
    Participant

    This from All Access:

    Antonio Harvey Exits Portland Trail Blazers Radio

    PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS radio analyst ANTONIO HARVEY and television announcers MIKE BARRETT and MIKE RICE have been let go by the NBA team. Only radio play-by-play voice BRIAN WHEELER will return from last year’s broadcasting crew, and the team plans to have him work without an analyst on the broadcasts on iHEARTMEDIA Sports KPOJ-A (RIP CITY RADIO AM 620)/PORTLAND.

    HARVEY, a former BLAZERS player, was with the radio broadcasts for 11 seasons; BARRETT called BLAZERS games for 17 seasons, the last 13 as lead play-by-play voice, while RICE was with the BLAZERS organization for 26 years, the last 11 as TV analyst on COMCAST SPORTSNET NORTHWEST and TEGNA NBC affiliate KGW-TV.

    β€œAfter reviewing our entire broadcast operation over the past couple of seasons, I felt it was a good time for us to transition into a new direction,” said BLAZERS Pres./CEO CHRIS MCGOWAN. β€œI would like to thank our broadcasters for their years of dedicated service to our organization and wish them nothing but success in their future endeavors. Going forward, we will focus our efforts on a national search to fill our open TV broadcast positions, with the number one goal of bringing in top-notch talent that our fans will be excited to watch during TRAIL BLAZERS broadcasts.”

    #20830
    skeptical
    Participant

    At least Mike Rice outlasted Steve Javie. πŸ™‚

    #20838
    W7PAT
    Participant

    Now would be a good time to move the Blazers back to 1190 KEX.

    #20866
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    I think it’s time for these changes based only on my consumption of the Blazer product. I’m sure there is more to it then that, but until those facts are known, I don’t see the justification for all those that have had knee jerk reactions like it was Brutus stabbing Caesar. The TV guys clearly had grown complacent and somewhat automated. Sometimes it was as if Rice wasn’t really in the game. Barrett was totally unexciting. Harvey seemed to fade into the woodwork after a sentence or two. These guys have made good Paul Allen money for years, they will do well going forward, it’s just not a big deal. Front page news in the bOregonian . . . I don’t think so.

    #20877
    Brianl
    Participant

    Well, as expected, the new TV PxP guy is Kevin Calabro. I know that Barrett and Rice have a strong root structure in Portland, and Barrett is from here, but this hire is a grand slam out of the park, IMO, and a huge get for Blazers Broadcasting. Calabro is a national entity, and an absolute treasure.

    #20878
    paulwalker
    Participant

    Agreed, Kevin is among the best PBP guys I have ever heard. Ironically, it was the demise of the Sonics that allowed the Blazers to get him as he refused to go to OKC.
    I’m surprised it took this long.

    #20892
    paulwalker
    Participant

    To add some flavor to this thread…

    When I was 16 years old or so my goal was to become an NBA PBP broadcaster. I was convinced this was what I wanted to do. Attended WSU and called some high school games for KWSU, both football and basketball. Soon realized that I was not very intelligent when it came to sports other than being a casual fan. So went straight to the Top40’s! (back when they mattered).

    I have shared this before, but my heroes in the NBA world were 1. Chick Hearn (Lakers, now deceased), 2. Bill King (Warriors, now deceased), Bob Blackburn (Sonics, now deceased), and of course Bill Schonely (Blazers). The Pacific Division had arguably the best announcers in the entire NBA in the 70’s and early 80’s. I will add the new Blazers TV guy, Kevin Calabro as part of this grouping.

    Football, I have enjoyed many, The Seahawks had Pete Gross, (deceased) and while he had a somewhat high voice, he was actually quite good in retrospect, very detailed and offered an exciting call.

    Baseball, of course, Vin Scully with the Dodgers, Ernie Harwell with the Tigers, Jack Buck with the Cards, and last but not least, Dave Niehaus, the King of baseball announcing in the NW, and beyond, outside of Vin.

    Trivia: Who were the primary announcers for the Seattle Pilots in their only MLB season in 1969? (Don’t look it up!) Hint: One of them is quite familiar to most PDX’ers.

    #20898
    skeptical
    Participant

    Who is the Rip City guy. πŸ™‚

    #20899
    paulwalker
    Participant

    Well it’s not Jeopardy, but even if it was you would be wrong as you don’t mention his name πŸ™‚

    However, yes, Bill Schonely was part of the Pilots radio team. The other guy was Jimmy Dudley, who had spent decades with the Cleveland Indians. I also have vague memories of longtime Cougar broadcaster Bob Robertson on some broadcasts, but I was only 10.

    This always reminds me that Schonely was a Seattle broadcaster for awhile, but Bob Blackburn was mostly known as an Oregon broadcaster before he became the Sonics lead PBP man.

    I know Bob Jr. has posted here before, so my question to him would be: Did Bob consider himself to be a Seattleite or a Portlander? Or maybe a better question, a Washingtonian or an Oregonian? I think I know the answer, since Bob spent most of his early career in OR.

    #20902
    Brianl
    Participant

    Ahh yes, Bob Robertson. One of the highlights of my life was when I was the PA announcer for the Portland Rockies their last year here, and the Spokane Indians came to town. I went down in the Civic Stadium pressbox bunker and there was Bob, another absolute Northwest gem. The next few days he gave me stories like you wouldn’t believe … He is another treasure, and very deserved Hall of Famer.

    #20903
    paulwalker
    Participant

    I knew we had more than a few connections, Brian. I was the PA announcer for the Tri-City Posse, (now the Dust Devils), in 1995-96.

    I also was the chief engineer for the Cougar network when I worked at KVI Seattle in the 80’s. Part of my responsibility was to call Bob Robertson and cue him up on the net. He was always a gentleman. And when things went wrong, as they always do, he was understanding and patient. Nothing but great memories with Bob. He is still part of Cougar broadcasts, though not PBP, more as a feature reporter.

    #20907
    washnotore
    Participant

    The early years of Blazers broadcasting.

    In 1970, KOIN-AM and KPTV became the first radio and television stations. To broadcast Portland Trail Blazers basketball games. Games on KPTV were road games.

    The team’s first play-by-play announcers were. Bill Schonely on the radio side. And KPTV sports director Jimmy Jones on the television side.

    Both stations retained the broadcast rights to Blazers games until at lease the end of the 1977–78 season. When the Blazers started there own media company, Post Up Productions.

    #20908
    paulwalker
    Participant

    So Schonely never missed a beat, going from the the Pilots in Seattle to the Blazers in Portland. He was indeed a great PBP announcer. I rank him up against the best, Chick Hearn, Bill King, Bob Blackburn, and new to the Blazers, Kevin Calabro. Lucky you, you Blazer fans, Calabro is top ticket.

    #20911
    Brianl
    Participant

    I wouldn’t consider myself a fan – I honestly don’t pay much of any attention to the NBA since we got fleeced out of the Sonics in Seattle – but the chance to see and hear KC on the TV will get me watching MUCH more. He is the absolute best in the business, as Paul alluded to.

    #20918
    paulwalker
    Participant

    Upon further research, Schonely was indeed a mainstay in Seattle in the 60’s. He worked for KVI, and called the minor league Rainiers games before getting the Pilots gig.

    So looking back at this, Schonely was a Seattle guy who ended up in Portland, and Blackburn was an Oregon guy who ended up in Washington. Gotta love it.

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