PORTLAND, Ore. — Since the Trail Blazers began playing basketball in Portland 50 years ago, the one thing that's been constant is change.
Players come and go. Coaches are hired and fired. Even the arena changed when the team moved from Memorial Coliseum and started playing at what is now called the Moda Center.
What has not changed very often is the voice delivering Blazers play-by-play on the radio.
After nearly 30 years of "The Shonz" (Bill Schonely) and the past 21 years of "Wheels" (Brian Wheeler), the team has a new man behind the mic this season in Travis Demers.
Demers is not unknown to Blazers fans.
He’s a veteran of local sports talk radio, and last season he cemented himself as the go-to fill-in broadcaster when Wheeler wasn’t available.
This season, the fill-in tag is gone and the job is officially his. But Demers isn't without mentors; he's welcomed advice from both former Blazer voices.
"He’s been very consistent with the message," said Demers about his interactions with Schonely. "Be who you are. That’s why you got this job."
He also remains friends with Wheeler, who has provided Demers with words of advice and encouragement.
"A lot of people ask me what my catch phrase is going to be, because Wheels had 'Boom Shaka-laka' and Shonz had 'Rip City,'" Demers said. "That's something I talked about with Wheels. He said that will come with time. Just do your thing."
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