Title: Q&A: Chuck Swirsky on 25 years of Raptors, salami & cheese, Vince Carter’s legacy, the greatest Raptor, and more
Date: December 27, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I interviewed former Raptors broadcaster Chuck Swirsky about his time with the team, watching the championship from afar, and more.
CHICAGO — Chuck Swirsky watched it from afar but felt no less a part of it.
As the Toronto Raptors were in the process of winning the 2019 NBA Championship, there was no bigger supporter online, on radio, and in spirit than their former play-by-play voice.
Swirsky joined the Raptors in 1998, first as the team’s radio voice and later as their television play-by-play commentator. For a decade, his voice was synonymous with Raptors basketball, his unbridled enthusiasm cutting through the tough times to make them enjoyable and the still-fledgling product exciting and accessible for new fans. He developed a number of catchphrases that Raptors fans still employ, long after he returned to Chicago in 2008 as the radio voice of the Bulls. It’s because Swirsky has remained a member of the larger Raptors community and because the mark he left on a new fanbase was indelible.
As the 2019 playoffs opened, Swirsky’s passion and objectivity came together: He firmly believed the Raptors were headed for a title, calling it on Twitter earlier than most. While he was “just a fan watching hoops on the couch with a Mr. Pibb,” the Raptors’ first championship wouldn’t have been complete without him putting his iconic stamp on the clincher.
He had to break out the salami and cheese one last time.
Check it out on The Athletic.