Diehard Boston Celtics fans are sure to recognize the new voice that will serve as the announcer for Visual Concepts’ upcoming NBA 2K22 video game that will be released around Christmas.
East Boston native, Saugus resident and “Voice of the Celtics” Eddie Palladino, who has served as TD Garden’s public address announcer since the early 2000s, has lent his voice to the upcoming video game.
Instead of hearing a generic PA announcer, players of NBA 2K22 that chose to play as the Celtics at the Garden will hear Palladino’s voice and give the basketball simulation game the real feel of a home game in Boston. Developers of the game decided to tap each NBA team’s actual PA announcer to make the in-game audio experience more realistic.
That means when Jayson Tatum hits a 3-pointer in the game, you’ll hear Palladino announce, “Jaaaaayson Taaatum, for threeeeeee!!!”.
In the game, Palladino’s voice will also announce the Celtics’ starting lineup as he’s done at the Garden for two decades.
Palladino told the Lynn Journal he spent time out on the West Coast recently laying down his voice for the video game but couldn’t tell friends and family of his work until the new game was announced.
“It was a pretty great experience. I really had to bite my tongue every time I wanted to tell somebody, but then I thought about my contract that I signed and the confidentiality agreement, so I did not want to blow the check that I already spent,” joked Palladino.
Palladino said when he got out to the West Coast and started working on the voiceovers the response was great from the video game developers.
“They loved it,” he said. “I may have to go out there two more times over the next two years if players change and update some of the roster.”
Palladino said he had to record over 3,760 voice segments to cover all aspects of what might happen during game play.
“I had to do the monotone voice, the announcements, the excited voice when a player scored,” said Palladino. “It was a very interesting and painstaking process, and I was out there recording for four days from nine o’clock in the morning to four o’clock every day with an hour lunch break. The graphics in the game are unbelievable and it’s almost like you’re watching a live video of a Celtics game.”
The Celtics tweeted the release of the new video game that highlighted Palladino’s work for the Garden and his involvement in NBA 2K22.
“To be in that (PA) chair, and as everyone calls it the best seat in the house, no one gets to know how much pressure there is being that close,” said Palladino. “I’ve got to be constantly alert for any call or any play on the court that happens because it’s my responsibility to keep the game moving and make sure that the crowd is informed as it goes along.”
When Palladino became the PA announcer for the Celtics he said it was a dream come true for a kid from Eastie that was a lifelong Celtics fan.
“This was always the dream as a kid going back to when I used to be sort of sequestered up in my bedroom,” said Palladino. Palladino said he used to watch the Celtics’ games on TV in his room with the volume off and make his own calls as if he were the PA announcer. “This was a legacy of responsibility that I was going to be a part of, and I felt responsible to give back not only to the team, but to the fanbase,” said Palladino. “Everywhere I go, I’m the Voice of the Celtics, but I’m not really seen, and I love it that way. I always consider myself the man behind the curtain because I’m really not on any of the jumbotrons at all and it’s just my voice that you hear.”
For over two decades as the Garden’s PA announcer Palladino has had a front row seat to the local passion for the Celtics from fans.
“Celtics fans are the most dedicated fans in sports,” he said. “They eat, sleep, and drink Celtics basketball.”
What Celtics fans might not know about Eddie Palladino is that he was an exceptional athlete himself while growing up in East Boston. Among his many athletic talents, Palladino was a terrific candlepin bowler and superb bombardment (a version of dodgeball) player at the Chelsea YMCA sports summer camp, Camp Robie.