While ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe has appropriately upbraided the Portland Trail Blazers for their recent team performance, two members of the organization have earned his praise; play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro and television analyst Lamar Hurd. In their first season together as part of Portland’s broadcast team, the two of them have quickly formed a strong bond and a stronger voice, salvaging some entertainment value for the fans at home during the team’s rough patch. As Lowe put it:
We knew it would be soothing to have Kevin Calabro back in our League Pass lives, with his classic broadcast voice and distinctive catchphrases. I giggled on Wednesday when Calabro talked about a Portland shooter "setting his tootsies" -- i.e., setting his feet -- before a jumper. What a legend.
But those of us who don't follow much college hoops had no idea what a witty and fun presence Hurd, a former Oregon State hooper, would bring as Calabro's tag-team partner. Hurd sees the nuances of team schemes in real time, and that's not easy sitting courtside with coaches and ready substitute players standing in your way. It's clear both guys watch a lot of film of upcoming Portland opponents.
As Blazer fans have witnessed this season, chemistry can be elusive, so it should be appreciated where it is found. Calabro and Hurd have it. They play off each other well, both bringing their own style, as well as experience, insightfulness, and class—a feather in Portland’s cap while overall plume is in short supply.