Spend some time listening to the Cleveland Cavaliers play-by-play team and you are likely to have an opinion sooner rather than later. Austin Carr, a Cleveland Cavaliers legend, provides insight, but is oftentimes unable to hide his love for the hometown team. His partner, Fred McLeod, similarly lives and dies with Northeast Ohio. I love the duo, and think they complement each other quite nicely.
But a larger point is often obscured or goes unnoticed: Fred McLeod is really, really good at his job. He is prepared, witty, and knows his basketball. It isn't just me who thinks so. Check out Zach Lowe earlier this year:
Fred McLeod, the Cavs’ play-by-play guy, will occasionally break out this catchphrase when an opposing player commits a traveling violation: "Oh, he shuffled his shoes!"
I like it! The Cleveland broadcast team has really grown on me this season. I did not expect that.
But despite the fact that I think the guy is great, and have had the chance to introduce myself once before, I'll admit I didn't know much about him. In steps Joe Gabriele, cavs.com beat writer, who put together a great interview with McLeod. Seriously, go over and read the whole thing (the story about the infamous "The band is on the field!" Stanford-Cal game is nuts).
Here's a quick snippet:
As long as we’re talking Detroit, is it true that Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was once your intern?
McLeod: Yes, Dan was my broadcast intern. He was going to Michigan State at the time. He was just Dan Gilbert back then – not all-caps DAN GILBERT.But seriously, I could tell back then that this guy was too smart to be a television broadcaster. You could just see he would process things so quickly. By the way, Dan says I demoted him from the Monday-through-Friday shift to a weekend shift. But I don’t remember doing that! And to this day, I still think: ‘WHY did I do something so stupid and demote him?’ (If I did.)
I can't wait to hear Fred, AC, and Allie back at it. Just a month or so to go.