• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Kevin Harlan 'furious' he 'took heat' for Odell Beckham Jr. comments, explains he was cut off

·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Kevin Harlan navigated a moment of confusion during one of the first games of the NBA playoffs. A protestor had glued her hand to the floor during the Minnesota Timberwolves' play-in game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Harlan bought time before reporter Allie LaForce provided an update.

"You’ve got to be very careful in situations," Harlan told USA TODAY Sports. "The protest, what they’re trying to get across, you don’t want to offend anybody. We are in a world where broadcasters can offend people with one single syllable and one single word. It’s very precarious."

Which is why Harlan is peeved by the reaction some had to his comments about Odell Beckham Jr. after a Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks game earlier this month. As the TNT broadcast closed, the camera cut to Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. departing.

"Odell Beckham Jr. got good seats tonight," Harlan said.

Reggie Miller, the NBA Hall of Famer and Harlan's longtime partner, then interjected.

"Yeah, but you gotta say Super Bowl champion Odell Beckham. C'mon man give the man his correct title."

"He blew a knee in the Super Bowl on a crossing pattern," Harlan said.

A video shared three million times on Twitter captured the awkward exchange – and certainly caught Harlan's eye.

REPLACING A LEGEND: Kevin Harlan on replacing Marv Albert in NBA conference finals

MORE: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman ready for new challenge in 'Monday Night Football' booth

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW: Stay up to date with our sports newsletter

Odell Beckham Jr. attends Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 04, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 129-109.
Odell Beckham Jr. attends Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 04, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 129-109.

Harlan said he was trying to set up a short story about Beckham walking despite suffering a torn ACL in the Rams' Super Bowl victory on Feb. 13. Harlan himself called the game for Westwood One Radio.

"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."

Before he knew it, Harlan had a producer in his ear telling him to toss the feed to LaForce for a post-game interview with Chris Paul.

"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.”

It was an unfortunate interruption combined with an expiring clock, Harlan explained.

“I was going to tell a story. I know who he is. I’ve called every year of his career. I was just going to try this thing – you just have to be so vigilant, so alert to everything that happens.

"I was left hanging. I took the brunt of it. I didn’t like it."

Harlan, 61, will call the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Mavericks beginning Wednesday for Turner alongside Miller and Stan Van Gundy.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kevin Harlan explains how Odell Beckham Jr. comments out of context