Mike Barrett is a man with a mission: bring Major League Baseball to Portland. Best known to NBA fans as the television play-by-play man for the Portland Trail Blazers from 2003-2016, Barrett spoke with John Canzano on his radio show, the “Bald Faced Truth,” about the Portland Diamond Project.
While the main focus was on baseball, Barrett touched on his departure from basketball and transition to baseball. Barrett and his partner, Mike Rice, were both unceremoniously let go from their positions by the Blazers following the 2015-2016 season.
Does he miss calling the Blazers?
I miss the people more than anything. I miss the connection with the fans. And the people, you know, in terms of the arena, coming into the arena and seeing the same security personnel and the same ushers. I miss that. I miss the hours before the game when I was the first one in the arena or close to it because I’m obnoxiously early to everything, and those conversations with those people, and those interactions, I miss that as much as anything.
Barrett also spoke about the time just after he was let go.
Uncomfortable? Yup, I mean really uncomfortable, especially when it happened, and especially that it’s public. And the easiest thing would have been to pack the bags and move to another market where nobody knows you and maybe get back into the League which I had an opportunity to do. ... We’re so consumed with comfort and ease of life... when you’re made to be uncomfortable, that’s when you kind of grow and you change. And I think of the people who are in my life now who would not have been had this not happened, and then the opportunities that come in, that’s the part that’s been really, really cool.
In terms of baseball, Barrett is one of the managing partners of the Portland Diamond Project, a group trying to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland. The effort got a major boost last week when Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Grammy Award-winning singer Ciara, joined the team as minority owners.
Listen to the podcast to catch up with Barrett and learn more about what is happening with the Portland Diamond Project.