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Q&A: Longtime Spurs broadcast engineer shares his favorite memories after 20 years and more

Bruno Gonzales shares his missed opportunity to be on the cover of a magazine.
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SAN ANTONIO — For over 20 years, Spurs radio broadcast engineer, Bruno Gonzales,  

He, along with long time Spur Spanish radio voice, Paul Castro, provide all the on-court action to the Spanish-speaking fanbase and Gonzales has seen much going on 21 years working with the franchise.

"We've been together for a long time, and the good thing about it is that he pretty knows what I need, by the time I get everything set up," Castro said. "And we have a good chemistry. It's like the team. If you don't have good chemistry with your co-workers and stuff, it's a drag going to work. But for us, it's a pleasure."

In this Q&A with KENS 5, Gonzales shares some of his favorite Spurs memories, how he missed out on being on the cover of Sports Illustrated and how he never imagined he'd be working with a great NBA franchise.

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Jeff: How long you been doing this?

Bruno: 21 years now.

When did you start working with the Spurs?

In 2000. 

One of the funniest things was when they [Spurs] won one of the championships, I think it was the 2005 one and I asked Paul, 'Hey, what are the chances of them going this far into the playoffs?' and Paul goes, 'Oh, we should be done by then.' 

Well, so I decided to take my family and my kids to Florida to visit Disney, and guess what we were watching? We were watching the playoffs in Florida.

So they had the championship! They won here and everything. And the guy that actually filled in for me, he came out of Sports Illustrated because we were down in Florida at that time. They took a picture of it, and Paul was there, and the guy that filled in for me was on the picture in Sports Illustrated.

What is it like in a day in the life of a Spurs broadcast engineer?

As far as here, we get here pretty early to set up. And we got to make sure all our connections are good, we can actually hear the effects coming from the court, you hear all the screeches, the basketball going, the hoop, and all the little things that you wouldn't think that you need that are necessary. 

Because without them, they're just really dead sounding. You just have the guy talking. And that really livens up the broadcast when you hear the production that's done out there. 

So we get here early, we run our cables, get everything squared away with the engineers here locally. 

And once we get that going, we got to tune in Paul, make sure he can hear the station, he can hear the effects, and everything sounds good in his ear. So it takes a little while once we get set up. But once we get set up and going, we're going, and just pretty much sit back and watch the game.

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How has the pandemic changed your work?

Last season was a real change when they didn't allow any visitors in and nobody was traveling. 

So it was just us here, and then Paul, and it was pretty eerie. It was pretty eerie because of the fact that nobody was here, and we had the whole AT&T arena to ourselves, Spanish radio, English radio, and TV. 

We were all down there at the court, and this whole thing was empty. It was just very weird, different.

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Have you ever had a night where things weren't just going right at all?

Trying to get the effects feed, or getting sound from the other arena, because we were doing the games here locally, and from other markets. So we rely on the other markets and sometimes we'd have a TV feed, we didn't have no effects, we didn't even have stats. 

So we were just watching the game with no sound sometimes, no stats. We had to rely on what we could figure out at the time, and I was counting, writing numbers down, and trying to figure out if a basket went in, two points, three points. Yeah, there was times when everything went down.

What has been the most memorable moment you've had, aside from missing out on the finals?

Just the great championships. 

Watching Manu [Ginobili] and [Tony] Parker play. Just the fact that we had such a great era with those guys. 

We were spoiled with all the wins we had, and I guess you heard that before, but still, it was the camaraderie with those guys. They were unselfish and just watching the team spirit they had that brought San Antonio together. 

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Did you ever think you'd be working with the Spurs?

No, I didn't. And then when I had the opportunity, I jumped at the opportunity. It was great, and Paul and I have been together for 21 years, and he's a great person to work with.

So are you really the man behind the curtain for Spurs Spanish radio?

Yeah, I'm the one pulling the strings like that. Don't mind the guy behind the curtain. Don't mind him. Yeah, that's me. 

Paul does a great job but like I said, working with him is easy. He makes my job fun, and we have a good time together. 

It's pretty cool, man. It's lots of fun.

Twitter at @KENS5 and at @JeffGSpursZone

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