Voice of the Nets
The easy part of coming to Brooklyn was simply doing what they brought him here to do.
“I’m new here,” said Olivier Sedra. “Different building, different crowd, it’s a different city, different vibe. Everything is different here. When the ball goes up, comfort zone. But everything else is re-establishing and getting people to know who I am.”
He is the voice of the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. After 11 seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sedra came to Brooklyn for the 2017-18 season as the team’s new public address announcer.
While establishing himself as one of the NBA’s premier announcers, Sedra built a resume that includes the Olympics and World Championships and NBA Global Games, in addition to voice-over work and hosting international galas and events.
His work, Sedra says, is a craft, one that has had him constantly evolving through the years. For every game at Barclays Center, he’s navigating the energy that flows throughout the arena.
“I kind of live right between the fans and the game,” said Sedra. “I bounce back and forth between the two, always trying to gauge what’s appropriate, when it’s appropriate. You don’t want to be fourth quarter in the first quarter. And sometimes you’ve got to know when to take your foot off the gas. And sometimes you just go.”
While working in radio production in his native Montreal, Sedra got his start on the mic by reaching out to the athletic department at his alma mater, Concordia University. For five years he announced the school’s men’s and women’s basketball games, and in the fifth year he also did home games for the Montreal Matrix of the ABA. All the while he continued working in radio, reporting from rinkside and producing Montreal Canadiens locker room broadcasts.
In 2006 he saw a note in a news story about the Cavaliers needing a new public address announcer. He submitted his tapes for the job and was selected from a group of six finalists. Two weeks after being offered the job, he was in Cleveland for the first preseason game in a year that would end in the NBA Finals.
Now he’s brought his acclaimed voice and style to Brooklyn.
“When it’s insane here and it’s a sold-out packed house and people are losing their minds and going crazy, I’m accustomed. I like that. That’s what I signed up for. To be a part of the special thing they’re building in Brooklyn and to have them want me to be a part of it, it’s an honor. It’s very humbling. And you can’t help but feel very accomplished to think that they’re building something here and they want me to be a part of it.”