Iconic Portland Trail Blazers radio play-by-play voice Brian Wheeler not returning next season.
The end of a memory filled era is upon us.
Brian Wheeler, the longtime Portland Trail Blazers radio play-by-play voice, will not be returning to the position for the 2019-20 season, according to a press release by the organization’s official website.
Wheeler, or “Wheels” to most Trail Blazers’ fans, has been in the role for 21 seasons. He is one of two radio voices that the team has employed, the other being Hall of Fame broadcaster Bill Schonely.
Wheeler released the following statement in the press release, stating his gratitude to the organization for his time spent calling games who made him one of the highest paid people in his position.
“I want to thank the Portland Trail Blazers for the incredible opportunity and honor of calling radio play-by-play for the past 21 years,” Wheeler said in a release. “I was honored and blessed to be a Blazer for 21 seasons, and fortunately I’ve accumulated some precious memories that will last a lifetime.”
Wheeler was the owner of a few iconic phrases among the Portland community, including “BOOM SHAKA LAKA” and “That was naaasty!”, among others.
Wheeler has battled a plethora of health issues in recent years. This past year, Travis Demers had to fill in for most of the season as Wheels missed the first couple months of the season, and continued to miss games constantly throughout the season, even into the playoffs.
Just like it was tough to fill Schonely’s role all those years ago, it is going to be just as tough for whoever the next radio voice of the Blazers will be. The Blazers community will miss Wheels dearly and wish him the best of luck with his health going forward.