ABA star, Portland broadcasting legend Steve “Snapper” Jones dies

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Steve “Snapper” Jones, a three-time ABA All-Star who became the long-time color broadcaster for the Portland Trail Blazers — and with the “NBA on NBC” for a decade — has died at age 75 at his home in Houston after having battled a lengthy illness.

Jones played eight ABA seasons — bouncing between Oakland, New Orleans, Memphis, Dallas, Carolina, Denver, and St. Louis — where he averaged 16 points a game and was a three-time All-Star. His final season playing was in the NBA with Portland in 1975-76, the city where he grew up, and he was eventually able to parlay that into a broadcasting career with the team for 26 seasons, and also work nationally including on ESPN, TNT, and NBC.

“Steve was as positive and good-natured a broadcasting partner as I could have had,” Hall of Fame broadcaster Bill Schonely of Jones. “He loved to call me ‘Pops’ as a nickname, and we worked very well together on Trail Blazers games during some of the early years of the franchise. He was a terrific guy.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on Jones passing.

Our thoughts are with Jones’ family and friends.