Brian Berger of 750 AM The Game got the first public comments from former Portland Trail Blazers radio play-by-play broadcaster and current Blazers Ambassador Bill Schonely following the announcement of his induction to the Naismith Hall of Fame as the Curt Gowdy Media Award winner. Schonely's induction ceremony will take place in September.
The living legend has been under the weather recently and was unable to conduct a press conference last week.
Here's a partial transcript of his quotes regarding his Hall of Fame selection from a Friday interview. Stream/download the audio here.
How are you?
Well, I could be a heck of a lot better. I thank you for having me on today. This is my first time out since I've been down. I've been a sick puppy dog for a week and a half. Before I go any further, I want to apologize to you, the folks at your station, and all the stations and all the people who have tried to get me on to see what I think about what's going to happen to me in September.
I want to apologize, I have just not been able to do it. I've been flat on my back, coughing and hacking, so on and so forth. I'm going to try it today and hopefully by Monday I'll be up and at 'em and I'll continue on. I apologize again for all of that.
Your reaction when you found out the news from the Hall of Fame?
About a week and a half ago, I was over at the office and my cell phone rang. It was Larry Miller. Larry was on his way to Orlando for All-Star Weekend and some Board of Directors get-togethers. He said 'I have some good news.' I said, 'I like that, some good news.' He told me what had transpired.
I was flabbergasted, I didn't know what to say, I was overwhelmed. In the meantime, I had a message from the Basketball Hall of Fame and I had not returned the phone call at the time. That's when I found out, I was told not to say anything until last Friday, when they made the official announcement.
In the meatime, I came down with this horrible cold, all the things I've been going through, it really didn't hit me, everybody wanted to get a hold of me. The Blazers organization, God bless them, they've done a terrific job -- our P.R. department [Cheri] Hanson, [Jim] Taylor, [Collin] Romer, [Kris] Koivisto, everybody over there. I just couldn't do it.
The fog has lifted, if you will, I'm so excited and overwhelmed and my phone has been ringing from all over the country. I'm very pleased. I just tried to be a reporter, tell the story of the game I was broadcasting at the time. Get involved in the community and, you go back to when I got to Seattle in 1955 and all the things I did up there, then came down here with the Blazers, it's my 42th year to be associated with the Blazers organization. So I've been around awhile. Then to have this happen, in the name of Curt Gowdy, who many, many years ago I knew from our baseball days. And the rest of the folks who have been enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, it's quite an honor, to be sure.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter