Cleveland Cavaliers Play-by-Play Announcer Fred McLeod Passes Away

Cleveland Cavaliers Fred McLeod
CLEVELAND - JUNE 19: Cleveland Cavaliers banner hangs inside Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, Cleveland Gladiators arena football team and Lake Erie Monsters hockey team on June 19, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

Somber news to pass along from the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ organization as long-time play-by-play commentator Fred McLeod passed away unexpectedly Monday night.

Fred McLeod was a perfect fit as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ play-by-play commentator. McLeod grew up in Strongsville, Ohio, which is a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. His love for all things wine and gold basketball was natural, none of the passion in his commentary felt forced, because it wasn’t.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ Fred McLeod Passes Away

McLeod saw the highest of highs and lowest of lows as the play-by-play man for the Cavaliers. He started with the Cavaliers’ organization in the 2006-07 season alongside longtime analyst and former Cleveland Cavalier player Austin Carr.

These two had remarkable chemistry. It was a perfect pairing of on-air talent, again because of their passion for Cavaliers’ basketball.

When McLeod joined the Cavaliers, they were just starting their peak of the first LeBron James run. He was able to witness, in person, the remarkable display James put on in the Eastern Conference finals that year. Also, it came against the team he used to call games for, the Detroit Pistons.

As a result of James bolting for the Miami Heat, McLeod had to trudge through the darkest of days in Cavaliers’ basketball history, never wavering in his love for the franchise.

It paid off when the Cavaliers started their rebuild. He witnessed a young Kyrie Irving put on splendid displays. The excitement level in his voice had an obvious increase. James then returned and the Cavaliers went on a dominant four-year stretch. McLeod was there for it all. Including the NBA championship, the joy in his face was incredible to see because he was just a fan in that moment.

Never again will iconic calls like, “He shut his water off,” “Right down Euclid,” “The Bottom,” or his best, “Sweaty Palms Time” be uttered by a Cavs play-by-play man.

Rest in Peace, Cavaliers’ legend, Fred McLeod.

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