LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — For a while, Tim Sinclair's job, like so many others in sports, seemed futile.
With sports making a return, however, Sinclair is needed — even without fans in the stands.
"The joke is that 'Why do they need a public address announcer when there's no public to address?'" said Sinclair, the PA announcer for the Indiana Pacers who is one of four from his profession inside the NBA's Bubble in Orlando, Florida.
Sinclair will be announcing one or two games a day for the next four weeks. When he's done with that, he'll head to the WNBA's "Wubble" to do the same thing there.
"As a public address announcer, my job is to be excited for the home team and not excited for the away team," Sinclair said, "which is going to be really weird when I'm doing a Pacers game and they're the road team."
For now, he's getting practice during NBA scrimmages.
"It will be weird because you feed off the crowd," Sinclair said. "It's just natural. But, at a certain point, the style and play in the game will help provide some of that energy. So, hopefully it won't be a problem."
The Central Illinois resident has been on the big stage before. As the PA announcer for University of Illinois athletics, the Chicago Fire and the Pacers, Sinclair was chosen as the announcer for this year's NBA All-Star Weekend. He was also the announcer for the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament when the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the sports world in its tracks.
"I was there Wednesday when I had to announce to the whole crowd that, 'Hey, you don't get to come back tomorrow,'" Sinclair said. "Then I had to announce to basically nobody Thursday, except for the teams, that this whole thing's done, everybody go home."
The hope is that Sinclair doesn't have to tell anyone to go home this time, but once again he is alone with the players and team personnel inside the Bubble. And despite the big names, he says everyone is sticking to protocol.
"Everybody really does seem to be working together to go, 'You know what? Let's make history and let's prove everyone wrong who says this isn't going to happen,'" Sinclair said.
Sinclair will announce his first regular-season game of the restart on July 30, when the Memphis Grizzlies take on the Portland Trailblazers.
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