The Portland Trail Blazers announced Thursday that radio play-by-play broadcaster Brian Wheeler will not travel with the team when it leaves for its upcoming four-game road trip because of an illness. Hired in 1998, Wheeler has worked 1,359 games in a row and has never previously missed a game.
Here's the release.
For the first time in his 16-year career with the team, Portland Trail Blazers radio play-by-play voice Brian Wheeler will not be at the microphone when the team plays. Illness will prevent Wheeler from traveling with the team as it departs on a four-game swing against NBA Eastern Conference teams beginning Friday night in Boston. Prior to his illness, Wheeler had never missed a broadcast since being hired by the Trail Blazers in 1998.
In Wheeler's absence, the Trail Blazers will temporarily simulcast audio from its television broadcast tandem of Mike Barrett and Mike Rice, with radio analyst Antonio Harvey added as a third on-air voice.
Update (Monday): Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports...
According to another source, Wheeler is recovering well and is expected to return to his post relatively soon after the Trail Blazers return from their four-game road trip.
Peter Fornatale of 50 Licks conducted an extensive interview with Wheeler that we posted back in April.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter