Cavs’ Gilbert, family on McLeod: ‘We will miss him tremendously’

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert brought Fred McLeod to Cleveland shortly after purchasing the team.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and his family released a statement Wednesday on play-by-play announcer Fred McLeod, who died suddenly of a heart attack Monday.

“Fred McLeod was truly a one-of-a-kind person and friend,” the Gilbert family wrote in a statement released by the Cavaliers. “Words cannot express our feelings as we think about the many special memories we have of Fred and a relationship that spans four decades.

“We will miss him tremendously. Fred was not only a great broadcaster and communicator that informed, explained and entertained, but he passionately embodied the Cavaliers ‘All for One, One for All’ DNA in every aspect of his life.”

Gilbert is currently recovering from a stroke suffered in late May. He just recently returned to his home in Franklin, Mich., after spending several weeks at a recovery center in Chicago.

It was Gilbert who brought McLeod to the Cavaliers. Gilbert is a Michigan native and bought the Cavs in 2005. He became a fan of McLeod’s when McLeod was calling Detroit Pistons games from 1984-2006. McLeod was set to enter his 14th season as the voice of the Cavs on FOX Sports Ohio. He was 67.

“He had the gift of connecting with everyone he interacted with and leaving them feeling happier, stronger, more positive, and valued,” the Gilberts said. “Fred has left an impactful, lasting legacy in Cleveland, Detroit and beyond.

“Our family extends our deepest and warmest sympathies to Fred’s entire family, including his wonderful wife Beth, mother Marilyn, sister Lynn, and his three children, Sean, Jenna, Molly and each of their families.”