Longtime Sonics announcer Kevin Calabro says he won't go with the team to Oklahoma City, if it moves. Tonight's game at San Antonio would be his last with the Sonics if they move next season.
If the Sonics move to Oklahoma City next season, then longtime play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro will be calling his final game tonight.
“I agonized over this for a few days, whether or not to say anything, but the fans have been so great to me and my family over 21 years and just to suddenly not show up for the final game on Sunday and disappear from the scene didn’t seem quite right,” Calabro said during a telephone interview from San Antonio. “That’s not the way I wanted to go out.”
Calabro will not attend Sunday’s home finale because several months ago he committed to calling the San Antonio-Los Angeles Lakers game for ESPN radio. He also will not attend the regular-season finale Wednesday in Oakland, Calif., against the Golden State Warriors because FSN is not broadcasting the game.
Calabro’s contract with the Sonics expires in October, but if the team were to remain in Seattle, he said there are provisions that he would resume the role he began in 1986 when he succeeded Bob Blackburn.
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“It’s been a dream job and it continues to be a dream job,” Calabro said. “Like any job, it has it ups and downs but I’m working in the toy department and you can’t get a better job than that. No regrets. A lot of great memories. Good experiences and good relationships.
“I would like to continue my association with the NBA in some way as a broadcaster and I’ll pursue that if they do move out of town.”
Calabro said he’s staying in Seattle because he’s unwilling to uproot his family. He and his wife Sue have four children.
“It’s just a great market here,” he said. “It’s home. We got roots. Sue and I have raised four kids in the community. We have friends in the community and are involved in the community. It doesn’t make sense to leave and it doesn’t make sense to commute.
“And frankly, I’m a Seattle guy. My allegiance is to Seattle. It’s not to another market. I do have an allegiance to the NBA as well and would like to work in the NBA, but at some point there’s a price that’s just too big to pay and the disruption of family life would be too big to pay.”
Calabro, who is calling tonight’s game alongside Marques Johnson, said he’ll tell the television audience of his plans.
“Basically I’m just going to thank a bunch of people,” he said. “It has been a wonderful, wonderful ride.”
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org