PORTLAND, Ore. (September 15, 2017) – Fans of Portland Trail Blazers radio broadcasts will again hear the familiar “Boom-Shaka-Laka” catchphrase as Brian Wheeler has signed a multi-year contract to remain with the team, it was announced today. Entering his 20th season behind the play-by-play microphone, Wheeler will now be joined for color commentary during all home games by former Trail Blazers player and current television studio analyst Michael Holton. In keeping with team policy, financial terms of both agreements were not disclosed.
“Even in the furthest reaches of Oregon and Southwest Washington, you can find Trail Blazers fans who enjoy our games on radio, and those fans enjoy hearing Brian Wheeler,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter. “Brian’s love for Rip City and our team, and his passion for basketball can hardly be rivaled anywhere in the NBA. We’re excited to add Michael Holton’s experience as an NBA player and his analysis as a former coach to our home radio broadcasts. They’ll be a solid on-air tandem.”
Trail Blazers games are helmed on radio flagship AM-620 Rip City Radio, and extend around the region across the 21-station Trail Blazers Radio Network. “Wheels,” as Wheeler is affectionately known by fans, is one of the longest-tenured radio broadcasters in the NBA thanks to his two decades in Portland and 33 years of overall broadcasting experience. Of the 30 NBA franchises, only seven have radio play-by-play broadcasters who have called their games longer than Wheeler has voiced the Trail Blazers.
“Just as I say on the air after a team win, it is truly a great day to be a Blazer, especially for me at this point in my career,” said Wheeler. “I’m appreciative of the organization’s continued belief in my talent as a broadcaster, and look forward to more years of bringing our fans along this exciting journey with our Trail Blazers. Michael Holton will be a great and insightful partner for our home game broadcasts.”
In his six years as an NBA player, Holton suited-up for the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, Trail Blazers and Charlotte Hornets. This will be Holton’s 12th year with the Trail Blazers Broadcasting family, having been a radio analyst and in-studio television co-host. Holton’s pedigree as a coach includes five years as head coach of the University of Portland; and multiple seasons as an assistant coach for Pasadena City College, Oregon State University and his alma mater UCLA, where he was a four-year letterman.
“Adding home game radio to my television duties affords me that rare opportunity to blend my love for this game with my experiences as a player, coach and broadcaster,” said Holton. “Working alongside Brian Wheeler to tell the story of our games will indeed be a privilege, and I look forward to another exciting Trail Blazers season.”
The Trail Blazers will tip-off the 2017-18 regular season beginning October 18 with road games at Phoenix, Indiana and Milwaukee, before returning to Portland for their home opener versus New Orleans on October 24. All six Trail Blazers preseason games will be carried on radio starting October 3 when Phoenix visits the Moda Center.