July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Is Joe Tait’s return getting closer?

LAFAYETTE TWP. — “With any luck at all,” Joe Tait will be back behind the microphone March 27 when the Cavaliers host the Atlanta Hawks at Quicken Loans Arena.



Tait, who underwent double-bypass surgery and an aortic valve replacement Jan. 7, will retire at the end of the season, his 39th calling Cavs games on the radio.

The 73-year-old had hoped to return Monday for a game against Orlando, but has pushed that back a few days. Tait won’t travel to any of the Cavs’ remaining road games, but hopes to broadcast the team’s final five games at The Q.

Tait is leaving the specifics about game broadcasts to the Cavs. If they want him to work with current analyst Jim Chones, he’s willing to share the mike. There’s also the possibility he may broadcast portions of games, with current play-by-play replacement Mike Snyder doing the rest.

“This has been going on such a long time, you really don’t know until you get out and do something that taxes your strength,” said Tait, who has not broadcast a game since contracting pneumonia in the preseason. “But like I’ve said before, I’d like to go out standing up.”

In a related item, Fox Sports Ohio will honor Tait, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, with an hour-long “Have a Good Night Everybody” broadcast following the Cavs’ April 13 season finale against Washington.

The special will feature more than 25 interviews, with former coaches Bill Fitch and Mike Fratello, former general managers Wayne Embry and Danny Ferry and former player Mark Price among those to appear.
The show will be replayed throughout April.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com.

Rick Noland About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for The Gazette and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.