A few weeks ago Kevin Harlan took some criticism for comments made about Odell Beckham Jr. during a Suns broadcast.
You can watch the video here:
Kevin Harlan: "Odell Beckham Jr. got good seats tonight."
Reggie Miller: "But you gotta say Super Bowl Champion Odell Beckham. C'mon man give the man his correct title."
Kevin: "He blew a knee in the Super Bowl."
Did Kevin Harlan throw SHADE at OBJ? ?pic.twitter.com/Ndiyis9LKP
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 5, 2022
Obviously the way that played out is unfortunate, with the broadcast going directly from there to an on-court interview with Chris Paul. Harlan never had the chance to finish whatever he was going to say, and it’s not hard to see how some people may have come away taking that as an insult.
Then again, Kevin Harlan is very much not the kind of guy who would do something like that with any kind of intent. He’s also an NFL broadcaster, and an excellent one; he knows what happened in the Super Bowl.
Harlan set the record straight today, talking to Chris Bumbaca of USA Today and blaming the confluence of events and the lack of time on the back-end to get to the point Harlan wanted to make.
“What I was going to finish saying, but I was unfortunately interrupted was, ‘And look at him walk after blowing that knee, knowing that he was a part of a Super Bowl championship performance,’ ” Harlan said.
Miller’s interjection threw off the entire sequence.
“I know the NFL, I know what it meant to him,” said Harlan, who grew up the son of a Green Bay Packers executive. “And I couldn’t finish it and I got attacked and that’s the kind of world we live in now. And I was furious that I took heat over that, because I wasn’t given a chance to finish what I was going to say because of what the broadcast was doing at the time.”
“We were signing off, we had to get this interview in – I got screwed is what happened. I got screwed,” Harlan said. “I’m still mad about it and don’t know what to do about it.”
In the end, this does just really suck for Harlan, who is a true professional. It was bad timing even on the sliding scale of Reggie Miller interruptions, and now that clip is just out there.
Fortunately, Kevin Harlan’s entire career has earned him plenty of goodwill among both NBA and NFL fans, and it’s hard to think anyone is going to hold this against him in any way.