Prayers up to one of the greatest of all time. George Blaha, an absolute legend of NBA broadcasting and perhaps the singular most important factor to making Pistons’ games bearable during much of the past decade, will miss the remainder of the season due to a heart procedure, the team announced.
Blaha is slated to have a heart bypass procedure on March 15 on the recommendation of doctors following a routine checkup earlier in the week. Doctors expect Blaha to fully recover, the team announced.
For his part, Blaha says he is excited to get back on the sidelines next season.
“I am disappointed to miss the remainder of the season, but my health is the number one priority right now and I have a great team of doctors guiding my short-term and long-term health,” said Blaha in a team release. “I’m grateful that they caught my issue early and they expect a full recovery. I look forward to getting back to full speed with rest and rehabilitation during the offseason and returning next year for my 47th season calling games for the Pistons.”
Blaha’s enthusiasm for the game is infectious. The reason he tops many NBA League Pass rankings is his boundless enthusiasm, and his positive perspective on his hometown Pistons and many visiting players. For me, he also gets extra credit for almost never complaining about foul calls. If you’ve watched League Pass, you understand that is a rare commodity, indeed.
Blaha began his career with the Pistons in 1976 and has called 3,200 regular season games, and 260 playoff games including three championship seasons. He was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
He is truly one of the best to ever do it and the Pistons broadcasts will be poorer for it. His trademark alliteration during play-by-play calls, how he perks up any time one of his favorite musical acts are mentioned — a Stevie Wonder reference during the Hawks game made him swoon last week — and even his inability to correctly identify the variety of dunks during the course of the game.
It’s all wonderful. This is the worst news and all I can do is wish him and his family well and the legend a speedy recovery. I look forward to hearing him on opening night when Cade begins what could be the first of many playoff seasons.
Get well soon, George. Nothing but love from Detroit Pistons fans all over the world.