Top Draft pick Patrick Williams and free agent signee Garrett Temple are not the only new guys running with the Bulls this year.
In an incredibly busy off-season, the Chicago Bulls not only revamped its basketball operations department with the hiring of Executive Vice President Artūras Karnišovas and General Manager Marc Eversley, who then brought in a brand-new coaching staff led by Billy Donovan, but they also went out and landed one of the top public address announcers in all of sports.
A graduate of Mahomet-Seymour High School located near downstate Champaign-Urbana, Tim Sinclair, 42, has spent the better part of the last two decades working in radio and TV as well being the PA voice of the Illinois Fighting Illini men's (six years) and women's basketball (nine years) teams. Every now and then he has also announced for Illini football, soccer, and baseball. As for pros, he has been the PA announcer for the Chicago Fire (soccer) for seven years, and this season was his first behind the mic at Soldier Field announcing for the Chicago Bears.
Sinclair also is not new to the NBA as he spent the last two seasons announcing for the Indiana Pacers. The league was so impressed with his work that at the start of his second season with the Pacers they asked him to cover the 2019 India Games played in Mumbai, as well as the 2020 NBA All-Star Game at the United Center. Then this past summer the league called on him again to work both the NBA and WNBA Bubbles in Florida, where he announced 24 games over 31 days.
Throughout his career Sinclair has also been the voice of the 2019 B1G Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, the 2019 Gold Cup Final, the 2018 ESPN Champions Classic and the 2017 MLS Soccer All-Star Game.
"I've been a huge sports fan all my life," says Sinclair with a smile. "I was born in Detroit, so naturally at first I was all about the Pistons, Lions and the Michigan Wolverines. But after my family moved to Illinois when I was 11 years old, I quickly became a Bulls, Bears and Illini fan.
"One of my first memories of seeing the Bulls play was when I was 9 years old and my dad took me to see them at the Pontiac Silverdome against the Pistons. Michael Jordan scored 61 points that game and the Bulls won in overtime."
In addition to his various public address announcing jobs, Sinclair also hosts a daily lifestyle TV show called "ciLiving" for the CBS affiliate in Champaign, and is also the CEO of Ringr, a tech-based startup company he founded with three friends in 2014. Ringr has developed an easily downloadable app that allows a broadcaster to record an interview with another person anywhere in the world and sound as they are together in the same room. To date Ringr users have interviewed Emmy winners, New York Times best-selling authors, and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, as well as countless athletes and artists from all walks of life.
Sinclair takes over the Bulls PA position after the team's longtime voice, Tommy Edwards, opted to retire last year after 25 seasons behind the mic.
"When Tommy retired, we decided to use this search as an opportunity to re-envision the role of the Bulls PA announcer," says Michelle McComas, Bulls Senior Director of Entertainment and Events. "We were looking for experience and a strong basketball IQ, but also a big voice with flair to take the entertainment experience to the next level for our fans. As an NBA All-Star and notable voice in Chicago Sports, Tim Sinclair embodies everything we were looking for to help us create new traditions in this next chapter of Bulls Basketball."
As for Sinclair, the chance to jump to the Bulls was a no brainer. "Though I was incredibly happy working for the Pacers, the opportunity to announce for three professional teams in the best city in the world — Chicago — was too good to pass up," insists Sinclair. "I spent most of my life following Chicago sports, so this is a dream come true. Plus, to me, the Bulls have always had the greatest player introductions. The music and the roar of the fans always gives me chills."
But at least for the start of this season, Sinclair will not be able to experience the roar of fans in person since the team will not be hosting fans at the United Center due to the current global pandemic. During his time in Florida at the NBA Bubble, Sinclair got accustomed to working games with only the teams and essential personnel in attendance.
"It took a little time to get used to, but it all worked out," remembers Sinclair. "The NBA pumped crowd noise into the arena and adjusted it depending on what was happening in the game. So, after a little while everything started feeling normal.
"The experience also made my point of view shift a little. The way I see it, my job now is to maintain a sense of normalcy for the players and coaches as well as for those watching at home on TV or listening on the radio. I am looking at each game as a TV show, and I just happen to have an important role to play.
"First and foremost, I'm a fan myself. I love getting excited and involved with my favorite teams. As an announcer, I have always tried to express what fans are feeling. I just happen to have a microphone in front of me."