Cavaliers' broadcaster Joe Tait.

There have been a lot of prominent sports media members lost in the last 12 months, and the latest one is Joe Tait. Tait called Cleveland Cavaliers radio broadcasts from their first year in 1970 through 1979, then from 1983 through his retirement in 2011; he also called Cleveland Indians radio broadcasts from 1973-79 and their TV broadcasts from 1980-87. As per Tom Withers of The Associated Press, Tait passed away at 83 Wednesday following a battle with kidney disease and liver cancer:

Joe Tait, a longtime Cleveland sports broadcaster and voice of the Cavaliers for more than four decades, died Wednesday. He was 83.

Tait had recently gone into hospice care following a lengthy batter with kidney disease and liver cancer.

“A friend and mentor to many over the years, Joe Tait wasn’t just a member of the Cavaliers family; he was a part of the Cavs story like no one else and his voice and unique, candid perspective reverberates throughout the team’s history,” the Cavs said in a statement. “He will be dearly missed.”

Tait was with the NBA team from its inception in 1970 until he retired in 2011, calling over 3,000 games. In his final season, the Cavs honored Tait with a commemorative banner that hangs alongside some of the team’s retired jersey numbers in the rafters of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Los Angeles Lakers’ forward LeBron James, who played for the Cavaliers from 2003-10 and 2014-18, tweeted a tribute to Tait Wednesday:

And many others chimed in with tributes:

Tait will be missed by many, as those tributes show. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

[The Associated Press; photo via NBA.com/cavaliers]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.