Sad news today for the Portland Trail Blazers family as former television broadcaster Steve Jones has passed away. The Oregonian’s John Canzano shared the news via Twitter.
Some sad news… Steve “Snapper” Jones — former ABA All-Star — has passed away, per source. He was 75.— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) November 26, 2017
Former Trail Blazer, Oregon Duck, and Franklin High basketball star…. and broadcaster. pic.twitter.com/Svpvxp255X
Jones played for the Trail Blazers during the 1975-76 season, the culmination of a nine-year professional career in the ABA and NBA. Though he was a three-time ABA All-Star, Jones became famous for color commentary with the Trail Blazers and nationally, His broadcasting career began with CBS in 1976 and continued with the Blazers, NBC, TNT, ESPN, and other national networks for the better part of three decades. Nationally he was often paired with another former Trail Blazer, Bill Walton. The repartee between the two became famous, with Walton the master of starry-eyed hyperbole and Jones the cynical pragmatist. Jones called his last game for Portland in 2006. He also worked for the Seattle Supersonics alongside current Blazers play-by-play man Kevin Calabro before ill health forced his retirement.
Blazer’s Edge remembers Jones, and the basketball education he offered, fondly and offers condolences to his friends and family.
Former Blazers commentator Mike Rice offers these thoughts on Jones’ passing.
Heartbreaking to hear snapper Jones has passed away. He took me under his wing & showed me how the NBA worked. Our courtside shows were a real pleasure to work. He was the best— Mike Rice (@mikerice6) November 26, 2017
The NBA family mourns the passing of Steve "Snapper" Jones - former Portland Trail Blazer, ABA All-Star and one of the NBA's all-time great TV analysts. We send our deepest condolences to his family and many friends. - Adam Silver— NBA (@NBA) November 26, 2017
The one and only, Snapper. R.I.P. partner. pic.twitter.com/Kr1G2zTzWp— Mike Barrett (@blazermb) November 26, 2017