Kevin Cadle passed away on Monday morning after a glittering career as a coach, a presenter, and a commentator across basketball and the NFL. BallinEurope’s Emmet Ryan pays tribute to Cadle, who always found a way to make viewers want to be excited about what they were watching
Sundays hadn’t been the same for a few years. Since Kevin Cadle stopped being the face of the NFL on Sky Sports, the viewing experience simply wasn’t the same as it was. Then, last autumn, watching a Maccabi Tel Aviv game an awfully familiar voice came on Euroleague TV.
Basketball was where Kevin Cadle had made his name. A ludicrous string of success across British basketball built his repuation in the UK. 30 titles in all, including his phenomenal dominance as coach of Kingston through the 1988/89 and 1989/90 campaigns, marked a simply brilliant career on the sideline and he racked up over 300 wins as a coach.
It wasn’t his work on the sideline that made him a familiar face, it was behind a desk with Sky Sports where he was the mainstay presenter of the network’s NFL coverage. A blatant homer for the Buffalo Bills, Cadle saw their good days but was more entertaining during their bad ones as he always held some wry degree of hope.
He was aware of the influence he held and regularly gave on screen support to efforts around the game in Britain, along with turning out to umpire games as well.
In basketball he was still committed throughout. When the Euroleague Final Four came to London, he was at the Nike Invitational Junior Tournament to check out the upcoming kids (where I ran into him to beg for the pic above) and eventually joining up with Euroleague last season.
Cadle was a breath of fresh air to the commentary. His genuine mix of excitement and knowledge, because he was genuinely excited and he knew a ton, breathed life into the dullest of games. His calling of the action made you want the game you were watching to be better. If it stank, he’d let you know but he’d also tell you why. It was that accessibility, commentating in a way that kept highly knowledgable fans and novices alike engaged, that made him such an asset on the mic.
I sadly never knew Kevin Cadle but whenever I tuned in, I always felt he knew me or anyone that had turn on the game he was manning. Kevin Cadle brought his love for sport to his job and that’s all it took for him to make the viewing experience special.
Thank you Kevin.