He started as the backup PA announcer for the Indiana Pacers in 1968, one year after the team joined the ABA. Then, when the team transitioned to the NBA in 1976, Reb Porter was asked to become the full-time voice for the home team by Nancy Leonard (Slick's wife). He hasn't stopped ever since.
After years of hearing his voice echoing through the hallowed halls of Market Square Arena and Conseco Fieldhouse, Porter will end his run as the Pacers PA man on Monday night. It will be his final night after 42 years with the organization. He will not be announcing tonight's game against the Nets.
The Pacers announced that Porter will be retiring during the latest episode of Pacers Crate starring Bruno, Mark Boyle, Chris Denari and Porter. He will be sharing some of his favorite moments during his time with the Pacers with those in attendance to the game on Monday. On the Pacers Crate, Porter talks about his favorite announcing quips ("It's Milllleeeerrrrr Tiiiiimmmeee) and why he came up with the infamous "two minutes, two-ahhhh" (because someone told him in the 1980's that he had to start telling the fans when two minutes remained).
There's no earth-shattering news here and everything is very low-key, just as Porter has been in the PA chair. He always excelled at being conservative as a PA announcer, using his patented quotes when necessary and never over-doing it like many modern announcers tend to do in other stadiums. He really was just what Indiana basketball fans wanted. From his growling of "R" in Reggie Miller's name to the "R" in Danny Granger, Porter will always be remembered for being a special announcer during some special years in Pacers history. When I remember Porter, I'll always think of a packed, sweltering MSA in the mid-90's as the fans waved towels while the IndyCar bounced off the arena's walls and Porter helped make the place tick like a time bomb.
Michael Grady will be taking over the PA duties next year. Porter's only advice to the newcomer was more of a sincere directive -- never use his favorite phrase. The "two minutes, two-ahh" will be retired on Monday night along with the man who will be forever linked to making it part of Pacers history.
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