Mario Nanni debuted Monday night as the Thunder public-address announcer. Nanni is a playoff replacement for Jim Miller, who was removed from duties after being arrested last week on complaints of lewd/indecent acts with a child. Nanni spent seven years (1996-03) as the Houston Rockets' P.A. announcer.
Question: What do you remember about Scott Brooks, who played for the Rockets during your time with the team?
Nanni: “Back in those days, they called him Scotty. Hardest working player. They called him the energizer battery. He really brought life to the game. Never backed down, no matter who he was playing. I think that's why Rudy (Tomjanovich, coach) liked him.”
What do you enjoy about the NBA?
“This is the greatest spectator sport in the world. There's nothing like the energy when the crowd's going. Gives you chills on your skin. It's that exciting. Every play is momentum. Non-stop action. You get engrossed in the game. Best experience there is.”
How does a P.A. announcer keep himself in check when the emotions get going?
“You try to stay within the boundaries, because the show is the players. Ideally, the announcer is just informing the crowd of things. It's all about the players.”
Nine years since you've done an NBA game. Is it easy to get back in the saddle?
“Like riding a bike. Absolutely. There isn't a game that I don't announce, even if I'm not there. Drives my friends crazy.”
Continue reading this story on the...