After joining the Portland Trail Blazers in 2016, play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro stepped down on Wednesday.
The move, which Calabro called an opportunity to “hit the pause button and coast a little,”came as a surprise to fans in Rip City who will miss the legendary voice on the Blazers call.
Thanks for all the kind words and sentiments. We just decided to hit the pause button and coast a little bit. The basketball Gods have smiled on our house.— Kevin Calabro (@KevinCalabro) July 1, 2020
But perhaps no one will miss Calabro more than Lamar Hurd, who has been calling games on the Trail Blazers sideline with Calabro since 2016-17 season.
In a thread on social media Wednesday, Hurd recounted a time in 2016 when Ernie Johnson and the TNT crew requested to interview Calabro about his return to an NBA team. Calabro insisted the only way he would do the interview would be if his partner, Hurd, could also be part of the interview. TNT accepted and the duo did the interview side by side.
Then of course they had many memories: on the team plane, media room, and even a diversity/equity/inclusion class. According to Hurd, Calabro “stood and still stands for people who need his voice.”
November 15, 2016 comes to mind when reflecting on @KevinCalabro. The Chicago Bulls were making their visit to Portland, with Kevin & I less than a month into our first season together. In the pre-game, @TurnerSportsEJ was leading a group back at TNT’s studio who were wanting to— Lamar Hurd (@L_Hurd) July 2, 2020
the only way he’d do the interview with them is if they included me in the interview with him. I immediately said “naw, I’m cool - YOU are who they want to talk, and I’m all good with that!” Kevin said “nope, we’ll do it together.” So we did. And that’s how our broadcasts would— Lamar Hurd (@L_Hurd) July 2, 2020
operate: a team led by a hall-of-famer who always made it clear we were together. More than his great calls, boundless vocabulary, and off-day wilderness explorations, I’ll miss all the times on the team plane...or in a diversity/equity/inclusion class...or during media room— Lamar Hurd (@L_Hurd) July 2, 2020
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon]
Like Hurd, NBCSNW Trail Blazers reporter Jamie Hudson shared a special moment with Calabro when he joined The Scoop podcast back in January 2019. The two took a trip down memory lane and reflected on Calabro’s 20-plus years on the call for the SuperSonics.
After years of phenomenal calls like the Dame “bad shot” over OKC, Calabro leaves Rip City better than he found it. He will be missed in Portland!