On Wednesday night as the Spurs faced the Los Angeles Clippers, the telecast trio of Bill Land, Sean Elliott, and Michelle Beadle took a few moments to discuss Land’s recent cancer diagnosis.
The seventy-two-year-old announcer (his birthday was on Thanksgiving) has been with the Spurs for over two decades. His voice is synonymous with play-by-play as he and Spurs legend Sean Elliott have called games from the Big 3 dynasty, through the post-retirement decline, and into the rebuild mounting with this season’s #1 draft pick.
Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News posted a piece about Land’s announcement. He added a person tweet soon thereafter.
On a personal note, sending all the positive vibes to one of the league's all-time good guys.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) November 22, 2023
Last August, Land was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable, but not untreatable, form of blood cancer.
Land, along with Elliott and Beadle, discussed how Bill intends to continue to broadcast while receiving the treatments that have become part of his routine. He mentioned that there will be games he will have to miss as a result of the regiment — a biweekly series of injections. He has also taken chemotherapy pills, the side-effects of which can be debilitating.
He did miss the Monday’s game against the Clippers. Dan Weiss stepped right in.
Despite the setbacks, Land accepts that this is his “new normal” and pushes through with an energy level that leaves his broadcasting team in awe.
“You can’t really tell anything is amiss at all when he’s on the air,” Spurs color analyst Sean Elliott said. “Bill is handling it like it’s everyday business for him.”
Land did not travel with the Spurs for last night’s game, and while that may be something fans come to understand, his family and his faith have given him a foundation for whatever comes his way.
“It’s such a cliché, but every day is more special,” Land said. “You absolutely realize what’s important in life.”
All of us here at Pounding the Rock wish Bill the best of health throughout his continued treatment and look forward to all of the games he calls.
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