We have confirmed from our contacts at the Portland Trail Blazers that Mike Barrett, Mike Rice, and Antonio Harvey will not return for coverage for next season.
Portland Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan today announced that television play-by-play announcer Mike Barrett; television color analyst Mike Rice; and radio analyst Antonio Harvey will not be on the broadcast team beginning with the upcoming 2016-17 season. No replacements have been hired as yet, though McGowan said a search for successors has already begun. Radio play-by-play voice Brian Wheeler will return for his 19th season, with current plans for him to broadcast games without an analyst on flagship Rip City Radio AM-620 and the Trail Blazers Radio Network.
“After reviewing our entire broadcast operation over the past couple of seasons, I felt it was a good time for us to transition into a new direction,” McGowan said. “I would like to thank our broadcasters for their years of dedicated service to our organization and wish them nothing but success in their future endeavors. Going forward, we will focus our efforts on a national search to fill our open TV broadcast positions, with the number one goal of bringing in top-notch talent that our fans will be excited to watch during Trail Blazers broadcasts.”
Barrett ends his run with the Trail Blazers after 17 seasons, 13 of which as the lead play-by-play TV broadcaster. Rice, a successful collegiate and high school basketball coach, concludes 26 years with the Trail Blazers organization, including 11 years on-air as television color commentator. A former Trail Blazers player whose pro career spanned 10 years – eight years with six NBA teams and two internationally, Harvey wraps an 11-year run as Portland’s radio analyst.
To reiterate, Wheels is still on board as the radio play-by-play host and will continue to be heard on Rip City Radio 620.
You can also read more from Joe Freeman at the Oregonian here.