Kevin Calabro (born June 27, 1956) is an American sportscaster based in Seattle, Washington. The longtime voice of the former Seattle SuperSonics NBA franchise and Seattle Storm, Calabro's primary calls are of basketball games but he does work in other sports such as football and soccer.
Calabro is currently employed by KIRO-AM, ESPN Radio's Seattle affiliate, where he hosts a daily radio program. He also calls NBA games for ESPN Radio and ESPN television and college basketball and football for the Pac-12 Network. Calabro also calls the NBA Playoffs for TNT and postseason college basketball for Dial Global Sports, including NCAA tournament action.
Calabro was the announcer for the Seattle SuperSonics of the National Basketball Association until the team moved to Oklahoma City. Then he became the voice of Seattle Sounders FC, a Major League Soccer franchise during its expansion year. Calabro was replaced as play-by-play broadcaster for the Sounders by Arlo White before the start of the Sounders' second year in MLS. Calabro has been the play-by-play announcer for NBA games on ESPN as well as for college basketball on FSN Northwest since November 7, 2008.
The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named him "Sportscaster of the Year" for the state of Washington in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006.
Calabro is a graduate of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, (1974) calling games during high school on WBDG, 90.9 FM. He graduated from Butler University (1978). He began his professional career as the play-by-play announcer for the Kansas City Kings in the 1983–84 season. In the 1987–88 season, he came on board with the SuperSonics alongside original Sonics play-by-play announcer Bob Blackburn. He has been calling games for the team since then, reaching a milestone 1,500 games in 2006. Calabro had an option with the SuperSonics for the 2008–09 season. However on April 11, 2008 Calabro stated he would not continue with the team should they relocate to Oklahoma City.
Calabro simulcast in both television and radio for 19 years with the SuperSonics. In 2006, KJR-AM lost its radio contract with the organization. The television and radio broadcasts were separate, with Calabro doing television broadcasts on Fox Sports Net and Matt Pinto doing radio broadcasts on 770 KTTH. Calabro called radio games when no television broadcast was available.
Calabro has done work on the national level with TNT, TBS, ESPN Radio, and NBA TV. He has also lent his voice to several Microsoft games, including NBA Inside Drive, NBA Full Court Press, and NFL Fever and more recently has been the play-by-play voice of the Sony PlayStation NBA game franchise.
Calabro is known for using the phrase from the George Clinton song whenever a Sonic player makes an exciting play, "get on up for the down stroke!"
Calabro and partner Greg Vanney were replaced, for two matches as announcers for Seattle Sounders FC, due to Calabro doing NBA playoff games for TNT. It appears that Vanney may have been permanently replaced as the color man, with first Cliff McCrath, and now Ty Keough, joining Kevin in the booth.
Example of Kevin Calabro's distinctive voice and play-by-play style, from 2006
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- "Good golly, Miss Molly!"
- "Flying chickens in the barnyard!"
- "Let's get on a magic carpet ride!"
- "...takes it down The Boulevard!"
- "Million dollar move, five cent finish."
- “Nobody can do the voodoo like you doo!”
- "Get on up for the down stroke!"
- "How high can you fly!"
- "Between the Wickets!"
- "The Area"
- "Two in the cake, and one in the puddin'!"
- "Needed to put a little more mustard on that one."
"Big paper/money daddy!"
"No autopsy, no foul."
"The Sonics with the lead and the leather."
- Kevin Calabro: Sonic leave, I stay – Blogger KING Sports
- Pelton, Kevin. 1,500th Game a Milestone for Calabro, SUPERSONICS.COM, 2006-04-03. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.
- Calabro Signs Five Year Deal With Supes, SUPERSONICS.COM, May 2003. Retrieved on 2006-07-15.