Mike Breen Credit: The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz

Young Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard was enshrined in basketball history this weekend when he hit a late-game shot to seal a Pacers win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, punctuated by a signature “BANG” call from ESPN announcer Mike Breen.

The moment was peak NBA postseason, but of course not for Knicks fans. Not only did New York lose, but they hard to hear Breen, MSG Network’s play-by-play voice, call the loss.

In an interview on Monday, Breen explained his approach to calling a Knicks playoff loss down the middle despite his ties to the team.

“What made that game so amazing… the end of a great playoff game, the last two minutes, it’s one of the most magical things in sports,” Breen said on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz. “That game felt like the entire second half was played under those circumstances, so for then Brunson to go and hit that shot in a game he had struggled and then for Nembhard to come down, the most unlikeliest guy, in a possession that was about to fall apart, it’s the surprise of the moment.

“Those are the ones to me that, it’s my love of the game, fan reaction to see something like that happen in such an important game. Because if he doesn’t hit that, the series is probably over, they’re down 3-0. But this young man, who had just missed two wide-open ones … so many things come into play to have that.”

Broadcasting the game for ESPN, Breen knows he can’t just come from a Knicks perspective.

“I try my very best when I put the headset on, and there’s so many things that are going on that you have to do your job. Not just for you, but for your partners, for everybody in the truck, to do a professional job,” Breen added. “I haven’t done it a lot in recent years because the Knicks haven’t been in these kinds of big playoff positions in recent years, but it’s a matter of concentration. Making sure you give that particular play the proper call that it deserves. For that young man to hit a shot like that under those circumstance, you want to make sure that you do that justice.”

Still, Breen knows passionate New York sports fans will resent him for bringing so much excitement to a moment that didn’t go their way.

“I’m sure there are Knick fans who are annoyed with me for having such a big, excited call for an opponent in a playoff game, but that’s what the job entails and you hope everybody understands,” Breen said. “Every announcer goes through this, especially in the postseason, when fans’ emotions are high … they always think you’re rooting for the other team. It happens every single postseason. This one is just a little different, because I’m the regular season announcer for the Knicks.”

Between Reggie Miller returning to Madison Square Garden for Game 2 on the call for TNT and Breen being in the middle it all for ESPN, the Knicks vs. Pacers rematch is bring up all sorts of history and allegiances. But anyone who listens to Breen knows he’s far from a homer, and clearly puts a lot of thought into how he rises to the occasion to call big games the right way.

[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz]

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.