Fred McLeod, voice of Cavaliers, ex-KPIX broadcaster, dies at 67
Fred McLeod’s passion poured through the TV no matter what game he was covering.
The longtime sportscaster and announcer, a former weekend sports anchor at KPIX (Channel 5) who called Cleveland’s NBA championship in 2016, died Monday. He was 67.
The Cavaliers said McLeod died suddenly but did not elaborate.
A popular play-by-play man because of his fervor and his rapport with commentator and former Cavs guard Austin Carr, McLeod did play-by play of the Cavs for 13 years following a long stint with the Pistons. He also had done play-by-play for the Cavs in the 1979-80 season before he came to the Bay Area.
McLeod grew up in the Cleveland area, the city’s teams in his blood. After LeBron James and the Cavs stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Warriors for the title three years ago at Oracle Arena, McLeod called the game’s final seconds and then broke down in tears.
It was the first major championship for a Cleveland team since 1964.
James expressed his condolences on Twitter: “May you rest in Paradise my friend!”
Cleveland forward Kevin Love tweeted about McLeod, “He was a student of the game. He loved the CAVS but even more so the fans.”
McLeod spent 22 seasons announcing Pistons games before joining the Cavs in 2006. McLeod also served as a TV announcer for the Indians and Tigers.
He came to KPIX in 1980 and stayed with the station through November 1982.
In ’82, he was the anchor for sportscasts that featured two of the most memorable plays in football history: “The Catch,” Dwight Clark’s grab of Joe Montana’s pass that beat Dallas in the NFC Championship Game and sent the 49ers to their first Super Bowl, and “The Play,” Cal’s five-lateral kickoff return for a touchdown to beat Stanford on the final play of the Big Game.
McLeod is survived by his wife, Beth, a TV meteorologist in Cleveland, and three children, Sean, Jenna and Molly.
Chronicle staff writer Steve Kroner contributed to this report.