For every home Orlando Magic playoff game, Paul Porter has been behind the mic as the team’s public address announcer.
That won’t be the case this season (assuming the Magic hold on to a playoff spot).
While PA announcers are primarily for the benefit of fans in attendance, the NBA is planning to utilize them during the season’s restart at Disney World, likely to provide some background noise that will break the eerie empty-arena silence on television broadcasts.
Porter, despite being the local announcer, told Orlando Pinstriped Post that the NBA will not be using him for PA announcing during the restart.
“While I very much regret the NBA’s decision not to use me, I appreciate the support I’ve received from the Orlando Magic,” Porter said.
If the NBA intends to use PA announcers, Porter should be at the very top of the hiring list. Having been with the Magic since the team’s inception, he’s one of the league’s longest-tenured and most distinctive announcers.
And, you know, he happens to work just down the road.
Porter is so much a part of the fabric of Magic basketball that during a rare game he isn’t working at Amway Center, his absence is immediately felt whether watching from the stands or at home. It’s like seeing a Broadway play with the understudy playing the lead role.
And for those questioning why a PA announcer is even needed in an empty arena (first off, anything goes in an era when stuffed animals and cardboard fans are in the stands), use UFC as an example. Currently one of the few live sports still in action, UFC has continued using ring announcer Bruce Buffer during their television broadcasts to introduce fighters and announce winners despite there being no fans in attendance. The job could be handled by the television broadcasters, but Buffer adds to the theatrics and helps maintain some normalcy during the viewing experience.
NBA PA announcers in some way will do the same. And Porter does it better than most....