BY SPNW Staff 05:48PM 06/17/2016

Blazers hire former Sonics voice Kevin Calabro

The voice of the Sonics is now the voice of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Kevin Calabro, for 21 seasons a fixture with Seattle’s former NBA franchise, has joined Paul Allen’s franchise, the club announced Friday. The Blazers Thursday fired longtime host Mike Barrett along with color analyst Mike Rice.

Calabro’s willingness to make the move will be seen by some who still hope for a return of the Sonics as another sign that a return in the next several years is unlikely. He was unwilling to relocate when the team left for Oklahoma City in 2008.

“I’m excited to join a great organization like the Trail Blazers that’s committed to excellence; is led by a devoted owner in Paul Allen; and is supported by the most passionate fans anywhere in the country,” Calabro said in a statement. “With two young stars in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, a great group of teammates and a terrific coach like Terry Stotts, the Trail Blazers have an incredibly bright future.

“I consider it a privilege to live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and look forward to becoming part of this franchise and the greater Portland community.”

Calabro has been a regular for ESPN Radio, Turner Broadcasting and NBA TV, as well as a member of the Westwood One Radio team for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Calabro was honored at Seattle’s annual Star of the Year event with the 2016 Keith Jackson Award for outstanding broadcasting.