NBA fans will hear a new voice when they tune into Boston Celtics games throughout the 2023-24 NBA season.
Drew Carter will take over for the great Mike Gorman as the Celtics' play-by-play announcer during road games. Gorman will finish his illustrious broadcasting career calling home games this season, and Carter will replace Gorman full-time starting in the 2024-25 campaign.
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Carter, a Syracuse graduate in 2019, has spent the last several years calling a variety of sports for ESPN. He was the play-by-play announcer on ESPN and Disney’s “Toy Story” broadcast of the Atlanta Falcons-Jacksonville Jaguars NFL game on Oct. 1 in London.
With a couple of Celtics preseason games under his belt, Carter joined Chris Forsberg on a new Celtics Talk Podcast to discuss his experience so far and what fans should know about him heading into the new season.
Carter admitted he wasn't as cool, calm, and collected as he seemed when he first joined the Celtics broadcast for the preseason opener.
"There were some nerves for that one," he said. "But I think when we got to call a game together, (Brian Scalabrine) and me, it sort of felt pretty natural. I think in the first half we were sort of feeling it out, and we did an audition together, so we sort of knew what the other was cooking a little bit, and then in the second half of Game 1 and then all the way in Game 2, it, it felt really, really good."
It didn't take long for Carter to get comfortable. With Payton Pritchard putting on a show in the second preseason game against the New York Knicks, Carter exclaimed, "Welcome back to the Pritching Hour!" He doubled down on the Pritchard excitement by dubbing the Celtics guard "Preseason P" during his 17-point performance in Philadelphia.
"I owe so much to Payton Pritchard because the two calls people have seemed to like the most were both about him," Carter said. "It's to the point where we landed last night after getting back from Philly, I saw him walking across the tarmac and I almost walked up to him and said, 'Dude, I just want to say thank you because you've made my job way easier these first couple of games.'"
So, who is Drew Carter? Later in the show, he got into his background.
"I'm from Minnesota. I'm 26 years old, not 25. If you're gonna come after me for my age, at least get it right. I'm 26 and my birthday is in June. So you don't have to update that for a while," Carter said. "But the Boston roots, I did live in Norwell for a little bit when I was really young. My parents live on Cape Cod and Dennis year-round now. My grandma lived in Duxbury for a while. My aunt has lived in Quincy for basically my entire life.
"But I did grow up in Minnesota. I went to school at Syracuse, which is another thing that it's like, 'Oh, here we go with another Syracuse guy.' But I went there and, because of that, I feel like I have a lot of great people to lean on. Like, Ian Eagle is a great example. He's the Nets announcer and we don't like the Nets, but Ian is pretty damn good at what he does. And so, I've had a chance to get to know him. His son, Noah, was my roommate in college and we're still really good friends, and he's gonna be working with the Nets as well. I've had some awesome people to lean on and really, I think I owe a lot to Syracuse for being at ESPN and now being with the Celtics."
Carter knows the change will take some getting used to for C's fans, especially those who have listened to Mike Gorman since he formed a legendary broadcasting tandem with Tommy Heinsohn in 1981.
"No one can be Mike," Carter said. "I think the big thing about this year is it's about Mike and I'm gonna try to defer as much as possible because I think people might be like, 'Who is this guy?' and 'Who's taking over for Mike?' There's really nothing out there about me. So if people wanna know, that's great and I'm flattered, but this year is about Mike. Because it's one of the best careers in broadcasting history for one of the best people you will meet in the industry or really in sports or in life, period. And that's been the really cool thing for me to find out about Mike is just how cool he is.
"Like, he is a cool dude. He rolls into the media room and you know that Mike Gorman is there, and he's a legend, but you wouldn't know it with how he treats people because he seems to treat everybody with kindness and respect.
"And that's probably the biggest thing I want to emulate from him, right? Like I said, I can't be him as an announcer. There's only one of him, but trying to take after him in terms of how he interacts with people off the mic. That's the good stuff to me and that's part of the reason why everybody loves him."
Also in the new Celtics Talk episode: Exclusive interviews with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. You can listen to the podcast above, or watch via the YouTube video below: