CLEVELAND — With the NBA Finals broadcast on national television, Fred McLeod wasn't scheduled to call the Cleveland Cavaliers' Game 7 victory over the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
Fortunately for Cavs fans and all of Cleveland, he did anyways.
As LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and the Cavs clinched the city of Cleveland's first major sports championship in 52 years, McLeod was on-hand alongside color commentator Austin Carr to call the action for a feed broadcast to the watch party at Quicken Loans Arena, as well as Cavs TV. McLeod's emotional call of the final seconds of the game was captured by on video by his wife Beth and posted in a tweet that would remain relevant to Cavs fans for the years to come.
"It's over! Cleveland, celebrate go crazy, because the championship is yours!" McLeod can be seen shouting before emotionally dropping his face in his hands.
After the Cavs announced on Tuesday morning that McLeod had passed away the night prior, many fans took to social media to remember the Strongsville native with his championship call, retweeting Beth McLeod's post from more than three years prior. They also relived several other of McLeod's most memorable on-air moments, including his call of LeBron James' game-winner vs. the Chicago Bulls in the 2015 NBA Playoffs, a Delonte West dunk over Josh Smith in 2009 and his unmistakable chemistry with former Cavs forward Richard Jefferson.
Over the course of a career in broadcasting that spanned 45 years, McLeod served as the Cavs' broadcaster for 14 seasons, including the 1979-80 campaign and each of the previous 13 years. He is survived by his wife, Beth, his sister, Lynn, and their three adult children, Sean, Jenna and Molly.