Television play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro is now in his seventh season with the franchise. He joined Portland in 2016 and, with a one-season break in 2020, has been the broadcast voice of the Blazers ever since.
Today, combing through Blazer’s Edge Mailbag questions, I came across one having to do with Calabro. It wasn’t entirely complimentary, so I’m not going to reprint it here. Basically it offered a list of grumps and gripes about the broadcaster and his style, then asked whether I agreed.
I watch a lot of different NBA games as part of the job, experiencing plenty of television personalities in the process. I am happy with Calabro in general and on a scale compared to his peers. He’s clearly the most polished broadcaster the Blazers have ever employed. He keeps the requisite excitement for the team in his voice, despite clearly knowing he’s watching subpar basketball. During the rare times when the veneer slips, it’s a nod to realism and credulity, not an indictment of the players. He sets up partner Lamar Hurd well. If he occasionally refers to the team as the “Sonics” still, that’s forgivable for me.
But I don’t want to answer this question by myself. I’m just one viewer, like the rest of you. I’m not sure if the sentiment against Calabro has drifted beyond one Mailbag questioner or whether you all are happy as pie with him. So I’m asking, what do you think of Portland’s lead broadcaster? What do you love, what irks you, and where do you place him in the pantheon of television professionals and Portland personalities?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below! And if you have a Mailbag question, you can always submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to answer as many as we can!