Joe Tait Talks Cavs, LeBron at Chamber Lunch
Says James 'will never be a leader'
Joe Tait, the radio voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers for 39 years, had some pointed things to say about his career, the NBA and former Cavs star LeBron James at a Strongsville Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday.
"In Cleveland, (James) was called on to be the leader, and he couldn't do it," Tait told the crowd gathered at the Holiday Inn. "He didn't quit in Game 5. I think he realized they couldn't win, and he knew he was going somewhere else."
And while acknowledging James is a great player, Tait predicted LeBron "will never be a leader" and will not win a championship unless he surrounds himself with strong players so he can "just play along and hum the song."
Tait, who gave his first play-by-play for the Cavs in 1970 and also called Cleveland Indians games from 1973 to 1987, had nice things to say about most of the Cavs' coaches over the years.
"Lenny Wilkens is the finest gentleman I have probably ever met in my life in terms of sports," he said.
Randy Wittman? He'd love to have him as a neighbor, but "I don't want him coaching my basketball team," Tait said.
The newly retired radio legend has a new book out, called Joe Tait. "I recommend it to you because if you buy it, I'll make some money," he joked to the crowd.
He said he is done with basketball, and is "happy to be away from it."
"You're not going to find me lurking in the shadows at the Q," he said.
Chamber president Jim Mocho presented Tait with a Strongsville basketball sweater, which Tait promised to wear.