MIAMI – Lawrence Tanter, the public-address announcer of the Los Angeles Lakers, probably is the most famous among those currently holding that post in the NBA (and the closest thing in dignified tones to the late Bob Sheppard of the Yankees). Ray Clay in Chicago made a name for himself reciting the names of Michael Jordan and the other Bulls in the 1990s. There’s that guy in Detroit, too, who pierced the eardrums and penetrated the consciousness of fans who weren’t even at The Palace of Auburn Hills with his “DEEE-troit! BASSS-ketball!” calls to arms for the Pistons.
Now Michael Baiamonte is the big name — and loud voice — among arena-stoking announcers. He’s not unlike LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade for a lot of NBA fans: Wildly popular at Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena, not so embraced by fans elsewhere. Actually, it’s the fans who attend a game in Miami without actually being extreme Heat fans who are most thrown by the sheer volume of Baiamonte’s calls and catchphrases.
Not to be confused with The Dos Equis Man, the Dos Minutos Guy talked with Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel the other day about the origins, dating back to the mid-1990s, of his signature “STAND up!…” line: