Kevin Harlan Dallas Mavericks Credit: TNT Sports

If you saw Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr. soar in for an alley-oop dunk in Tuesday night’s Game Four of the Western Conference Finals, you weren’t alone. TNT Sports NBA announcer Kevin Harlan punctuated Jones’ highlight play by bellowing “we just saw a man fly” as Dallas cut the deficit to three on a feed from Luka Doncic.

The call was classic Harlan, perfectly mixing a fan’s glee and a professional’s wordplay. It also was a callback to one of the longtime NBA broadcaster’s classic calls from nearly 15 years ago.

NBA fans online quickly discovered Harlan’s call of a J.R. Smith dunk from 2010, when Harlan first busted out the “we just saw a man fly” line.

Nuggets fans have long celebrated Harlan’s call of the Smith dunk, and many pulled it back out from previous social media posts when they heard it again this week.

Depending on your personal taste, you might even think the Smith dunk and the call there was even better. Smith drove in from the perimeter and posterized a smaller player, swinging on the rim for good measure. Harlan, of course, came up with the “man fly” line off the cuff that first time.

With Jones and Dallas, the liftoff was more explosive and the timing of the play made it more meaningful.

No matter which was best, credit Harlan for developing his own canon and playing the hits.

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.