HoopsHype Joe Tait rumors

January 3, 2012 Updates

Bob Finnan: Spoke to Joe Tait this morning. He's doing well. Hasn't watched or listened to any of the #Cavs games, but might in near future. Twitter

November 20, 2011 Updates

But he never hated LeBron James. "I don't blame him for all that," said Joe. "It's just the professional sports mentality permeating all the way down into the high schools. Some of the summer teams are just cesspools." Joe loves small-time high school sports, which is why he'd broadcast a few high school games each winter -- usually from small towns with teams where most kids won't play after high school. It reminds him of the high school games he called as a young broadcaster at small stations in the Midwest. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Joe was 66 years old when an 18-year-old LeBron James was the Cavs' No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft. They didn't have much in common. In Joe's final decade with the team, he didn't have much connection with the players. They were generations apart in age and interests. You could say that an NBA lifer such as Joe could have been helpful to a young LeBron James . . . or any other young player . . . but most young millionaires don't think they need much advice. Joe realized James was unlike any Cavs player -- ever. Not one was as physically gifted. Not one was marketed so aggressively. Certainly, no Cavalier ever had more media attention, commercial endorsements and demands on his time. "I asked simply that LeBron do one postgame interview a year with me," said Joe. "So many of our games were on national TV, and they always wanted him. He usually did his one interview a year. One time, I remember him coming over to the press table, sitting down in front of me. I said, 'Well, look who is here!' LeBron said, 'I told you that I'd come.' " Cleveland Plain Dealer

November 17, 2011 Updates

He collaborated with local author and sportswriter Terry Pluto on "Joe Tait: It's Been a Real Ball." Published by Gray & Company, the 264-page book retails for $15.95 and recaps Tait's storied Hall of Fame broadcasting career. Both Tait and Pluto were signing copies of their book in the Cavs team shop on Wednesday. "We wrote it in third person," Pluto said. "I was able to use Joe like he was Forrest Gump with all these things that happened in Cleveland sports. He was there for Beer Night. He was there for the Miracle of Richfield. He was there for the team starting and for Ted Stepien." News-Herald

October 16, 2011 Updates

Kemp, who could not be reached for this story, wasn't the only player to return out of shape. Vancouver's Bryant Reeves gained 40 pounds. Dennis Scott, Patrick Ewing and Oliver Miller all put on pounds. But it was Kemp who became the puffy face of the NBA lockout. "The franchise had a desire to have a superstar," retired Cavs broadcaster Joe Tait said of Kemp, who signed a renegotiated deal worth $100 million after joining the Cavs. "But if your star begins to look more like Jupiter than Mercury, then you have a problem." Cleveland Plain Dealer

August 5, 2011 Updates

One of the cast of characters in line for the Cavaliers' radio play-by-play job has been eliminated. ESPN Radio's Marc Kestecher has pulled out of the running, a source said. He recently received a new contract from the Bristol, Conn., media giant. He worked for WKNR in Cleveland in the mid-90s. He has been with ESPN for 11 years. Kestecher was thought to be a major contender for the Cavs' position left vacant by Joe Tait's retirement after the 2010-11 season. Tait, a Hall of Famer, left the position he held for 39 years. News-Herald

May 22, 2011 Updates
April 26, 2011 Updates

Tait, who turns 74 on May 15, missed all but five home games this season. He was hospitalized last October with pneumonia and a blood clot in his lung. After he recovered, he underwent double-bypass heart surgery and had an aortic valve replaced. The recovery period is still ongoing. “I kept waiting to feel better, feel stronger and feel like my old self,” Tait said. “Two weeks ago, the head cardiologist finally said to me, ‘You have to realize you’re not going to feel like your old self for at least a year. And besides, when you’re 74 years old, everything takes longer.’ ” Canton Repository

April 24, 2011 Updates

The Cavaliers are working on narrowing their field of candidates for replacing Hall of Fame radio announcer Joe Tait. Tait, 73, retired at the end of the regular season after 39 years with the team. The three most viable candidates are Mike Snyder, Matt Dery and Jeff Phelps. However, there's a new name rumored to be a strong candidate: ESPN Radio's Marc Kestecher, who used to work at WKNR. Others known to have applied for the coveted gig are Al Pawlowski, the Cleveland State Vikings' play-by-play man, and Michael Reghi, formerly the Cavs' TV announcer. Morning Journal

April 9, 2011 Updates
March 30, 2011 Updates

I talked to Joe Tait after the Miami game -- he said he "enjoyed it immensely." He appreciated how the Cavs "played hard and didn't back down." The veteran broadcaster was doing his second game this season after recovering from heart surgery. He said, "I treated LeBron James like just another player coming to town. I called him 'James.' That was it." Instead, Tait threw his enthusiasm behind on the guys on the home team. Cleveland Plain Dealer

March 28, 2011 Updates

Longtime Cavs radio play-by-play man Joe Tait returned to the broadcast booth for the first time this season Sunday, his final season before retiring. Tait checked into a Houston hospital with pneumonia following a preseason game in early October, then underwent double-bypass surgery and heart-valve replacement surgery Jan. 7. “There are mixed opinions in the medical world whether this was the smartest thing I've ever done in my life,” he said of his return. “I wanted to give it a shot.” FOXSportsOhio

Tait, 73, was with the Cavs in their first season in 1970. He was hired after sending a demo tape to then-coach Bill Fitch, who passed it on to then-owner Nick Mileti. “I wanted to go out standing up," Tait said. "I wanted to go out working as opposed to staying out there at the farm and letting the season end and not coming back for a few games. We kept pushing that date back and back and back. Hopefully, I can do the final five (home games). “I didn’t want to fold up my tent and silently slip away.” FOXSportsOhio

March 26, 2011 Updates
March 23, 2011 Updates

If he gets medical clearance from his doctors, Hall of Fame announcer Joe Tait could be back behind the microphone for the Cavaliers on Sunday against Atlanta. Tait underwent double-bypass surgery and an aortic valve replacement on Jan. 7. He likely will broadcast in conjunction with color analyst Jim Chones and play-by-play man Mike Snyder on WTAM-AM 1100. The 73-year-old hopes to do the Cavs' final five home games. He's missed the entire regular season. News-Herald

February 17, 2011 Updates

Cavaliers Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Tait said Wednesday that he still plans to return to the microphone by the end of the season. Tait, talking by phone with Jeff Phelps and Campy Russell on the Cavaliers Live pregame show on Fox Sports Ohio before Wednesday's game against the Lakers, said he was recovering slowly but surely after heart surgery early this season. "Some of the early goals I set for my return to the airwaves were premature," said Tait, who has missed the entire season with a variety of health problems. "But I still very definitely plan to be back before the season is over." Cleveland Plain Dealer

February 16, 2011 Updates

Cavaliers Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Tait will join Cavaliers Live Pregame Show on FOX Sports Ohio over the phone tonight. The show, hosted by Jeff Phelps and Campy Russell, begins at 7 p.m. It will be the first time this season Cavs fans have heard directly from Tait, who underwent successful double bypass heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic early January and is now doing rehabilitation at home. Cleveland Plain Dealer

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