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KERRY EGGERS ON SPORTS



Plenty is going on, both out front and behind the scenes, in the world of broadcasting with the Trail Blazers. Among the moves:

• In June, the NBA club let three of its four game announcers go — television play-by-play man Mike Barrett and analysts Mike Rice (TV) and Antonio Harvey (radio).

Barrett was replaced by Kevin Calabro, the longtime voice of the Seattle SuperSonics who had been working for Pac-12 Networks and Westwood One Sports in recent years.HURD

It’s not yet been announced by the club, but former Oregon State point guard Lamar Hurd will be Calabro’s partner as analyst during the upcoming NBA season. Calabro and Hurd have worked together often calling games with the Pac-12 Networks the past three years. Since 2008, Hurd also has worked for Fox Sports Northwest, Root Sports and ESPN.

The Blazers interviewed such potential candidates as P.J. Carlesimo, Steve Smith and Will Perdue before reaching agreement with Hurd, who lives in Portland.

Brian Wheeler — Portland’s radio play-by-play voice since 1998 — will work solo for much of the 2016-17 campaign. The Blazers are in negotiations with former Blazer forward Brian Grant to work alongside Wheeler for a portion of the season.

• Jordan Kent and Brooke Olzendam of Comcast SportsNet Northwest have been hired by the Blazers.

Kent will become the team’s studio host and Olzendam will handle game sideline duties for both home and road games, along with pre- and post-game interviews.

In June, Olzendam had started as host of a half-hour weekly show on CSN called “Sports Talk Live.” That role ends with her full-time employment with the Blazers.

Kent replaces Adam Bjaranson, who served as studio host the past six years. Kent will work alongside Michael Holton, who will no longer be an in-game sideline reporter but will serve as pre-game, halftime and post-game analyst. Kent and Wheeler probably will divide hosting responsibilities for the Blazers’ “Courtside” show on radio and TV.

It’s probable that Kent — perhaps the top three-sport male athlete in Oregon history — also will continue to host CSN’s “Talking Ducks” through the football and basketball seasons.

Bjaranson, who also works as a sales executive with Lawyers Title Oregon, has been told he will remain with the Blazer broadcasting team in an as-yet undesignated capacity.

“I’m very disappointed, but I’m thrilled they thought enough of me to keep me on,” Bjaranson says. “I’d like to have a more defined role, but I’m open to doing anything. I’m such a fan of the team.”

• Barrett, who has another year on his contract with the Blazers, hasn’t decided on his next role of employment. He has had contact with representatives of a couple of NBA teams, but would prefer to keep his family in Portland. A future role with Pac-12 Networks is a possibility.

“There are some interesting opportunities in and outside the sports world, but I’ve not committed yet to anything,” Barrett says. “I’m blessed to have the freedom to take my time and figure things out.”

• Harvey is probably finished with the broadcasting business. He and his wife, Jennifer, are one of four couples in ownership of “Terra Mater” (“Mother Earth” in ancient Roman), a marijuana grow business in the Portland area that gained its license in April.COURTESY: NBA.COM - HARVEY

“We’re new in terms of growing, but so far, so good,” Harvey says.

Among the owners is Antonio’s brother, Richard Harvey, who played as a linebacker for 11 NFL seasons and lives in Denver.

“After he retired, Richard started using cannabis as a way to deal with the pain,” Antonio says. “He was growing with a company in Colorado after it was legalized there. When Oregon went legal, we had conversations. My wife’s family is in the nursing industry, so it was a natural progression. We had land and all the proper things you need to grow. We put two and two together, and it made four.”

Did Harvey’s dismissal by the Blazers have anything to do with his involvement in the cannabis industry?

“They said it did not,” he says.

Harvey is looking at other job opportunities outside of basketball, too. But he says he will put his family — which includes children ages 19, 16, 13 and 5 — first.

“If I get another job, I won’t be a day-to-day (marijuana) operator,” Harvey says. “If I don’t, I’ll be day-to-day.

“I can say I may never set foot in the Moda Center again. Don’t get me wrong — I wish the Trail Blazers all the success in the world. But I spent 19 years in the NBA (eight as a player, 11 as a broadcaster). I sacrificed my relationship with my oldest child because of the game of basketball. Moving forward is going to be all about my family. I don’t see myself being a part of the NBA in that type of capacity again.”

• Rice, 75, also is probably through broadcasting, though he didn’t return repeated calls from The Tribune. He had a 26-year run as an analyst on both TV and radio with Bill Schonely, Eddie Doucette, Wheeler and Barrett. As of now, he and wife Kathy continue to live in Portland, with Mike focusing primarily on his golf and tennis games.

• A final sad note: Bob Cook, who served as the Blazers’ team doctor during the championship 1976-77 season, died Thursday in an accidental drowning in Siltcoos Lake, south of Florence. He was 78.

Cook, who led the team’s medical staff from 1975-80 and again in 1990-91, was a renowned orthopedic surgeon in the Portland area for more than a half-century. I saw him for the first time in several years at “The Schonz” golf tournament at Langdon Farms on Aug. 18. He said he was just beginning to pull back from part-time work and become fully retired. He looked healthy and fit.

Schonely credits Cook for helping save his life in 1980, when he suffered a heart attack while playing golf at a charity event in Pendleton.

“He saved my butt,” Schonely says. “When I went down, I told the people to get ahold of Bob. He made arrangements for Life Flight to fly me back to Portland and Meridian Park Hospital.

“I’ve known Bob for 46 years. We became very dear friends. He was a terrific individual. Very dedicated to his craft and his patients. He was just outstanding to me. We shared a few moments together at my tournament, which was nice. And now, son of a gun, he’s gone.”

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Twitter: @kerryeggers

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