By Randy Renner
Wednesday afternoon the Oklahoma City Thunder sent out a press release announcing the new TV analyst replacing Grant Long.
As is often the case with these types of things the name on the press release was not one of the names that had been brought up in newspapers, websites (this one included) radio shows and TV sports segments.
Michael Cage is the name, not Desmond Mason, not Stacey King, not Malik Rose nor Nancy Lieberman nor a dozen or so others folks had talked about.
In case you didn't know, or had forgotten, Michael Cage played 15 years in the NBA and was a pretty darn good rebounder, led the league one season in fact.
Those who have met him or have seen some of his work in TV say he has a great personality, is very fun and engaging and has tremendous knowledge of the game.
Here is the full press release about Mr. Cage sent out by the Thunder:
The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today that Michael Cage is joining the Thunder broadcast team as its new analyst. Cage joins play-by-play announcer Brian Davis, who begins his seventh season as the TV voice of the Thunder on FOX Sports Oklahoma. Sideline reporter and host Lesley McCaslin returns for her third season with the Thunder.
Cage played 15 seasons from 1984-2000 as a power forward in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers, Seattle Supersonics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets. He led the NBA in rebounding in 1988, capturing the title by grabbing 30 rebounds in the final game of the regular season.
“We are very excited and proud to have Michael Cage become part of the Thunder broadcast team,” said Dan Mahoney, Thunder vice president of Corporate Communications. “Michael brings experience, energy, knowledge and passion for the game. We think our fans will enjoy his perspective and knowledge gained by playing more than 1,000 games in the NBA.”
A native of West Memphis, Ark., Cage was a first-round draft pick of the Clippers in 1984 following a successful career at San Diego State University. At SDSU he was named a second-team All-American in 1984 and twice was selected as Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year. The Aztecs retired his jersey (No. 44) in 1984. He was also a member of the gold-medal winning 1983 United States team in the Pan American Games.
Following his playing career, Cage has worked as both a broadcaster and a high school and AAU basketball coach. His broadcasting experience includes serving as TV analyst for the Memphis Grizzlies, FOX Sports West, Prime Ticket and Westwood One radio. Cage coached Mater Dei High School in Los Angeles to back-to-back state titles in 2013-14. He also served as a guest coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers at the 2013 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Cage has a long history of giving back to the community during and after his NBA playing career. The Michael Cage Foundation works with young athletes to mentor, teach and share life lessons.
"Thank you to the Oklahoma City Thunder for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to join the franchise. I'm looking forward to working with an already terrific broadcast team,” Cage said. “I've been involved in basketball, sports broadcasting and charity work for over 40 years and I look forward to getting to know the passionate Thunder fans in Oklahoma! My family and I are excited and feel very blessed."
FOX Sports Oklahoma will broadcast 70 Thunder games during the 2014-15 regular season, beginning with the season opener on Oct. 29 at Portland. The Oct. 17 Thunder preseason game in Wichita against the Toronto Raptors will also be carried live on FSO. During the other preseason games and any national exclusive regular-season broadcasts, Cage will join Matt Pinto on the Thunder Radio Network.
It's believed that Mr. Cage will be on hand for Thunder media day on September 29th.