There are only 30 NBA teams and not many more positions for public address announcers. Therefore, it's always interesting to see what they have to say about their roles.
The Ohio-based Mansfield News Journal had a chance to interview Mike Clapper, who is the Wizards' public address announcer for Friday games. Clapper is also the Mystics' full-time public address announcer since 2011 and is a native of nearby Lexington where he also announces many more events for Lexington High School.
In the interview, Clapper mentioned that a recommendation from the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he did fill-in work helped him get his opportunities with the Mystics' and Wizards' game operations. He was part of the Wizards' PA announcer tryouts in 2010 which then-Mystics PA announcer Ralph Wesley won. However, Clapper was the first runner up and was offered Wesley's Mystics gig in the process. It ultimately turned into a larger role where he also started calling Wizards games on Friday nights. Wesley still announces all other Wizards home games.
Here are some other interesting some tidbits from the article:
Ted Leonsis looks forward to Friday Wizards games and has dubbed Clapper, "The Voice of God":
Ted calls me 'the voice of God.' I'll be walking into the arena and I'll hear his voice echoing in the halls: 'It must be Friiiday!' He's a billionaire but makes a point to come over and talk to me every time he sees me.
He also appreciates the fact that he talks to the players and interacts with them regularly, even right before every game:
When I'm there, for every Friday game, after the introductions and everybody's hooting and hollering, they all come by and fist bump me. It's just a hoot.
Being a PA announcer certainly allows Clapper to be a fan, but it is also hectic.
You're watching the game because you've got to be ready to make the calls, but it's a different kind of enjoyment.
There are times in a 12-minute quarter I don't know what the score is until I look up just before the horn goes off at the end of the quarter. ... I literally sit down at 6 for a 7 p.m. tip-off and don't get up until the final buzzer.
Clapper's next goal in life is to be part of a championship team. If the Wizards can continue playing as well as they did against the Raptors last week, it's not out of the question that he could be part of that this season.