Kevin Harlan on naming the Celtics Historic 7: ‘I’m humbled’

The moment wouldn’t be too big for Kevin Harlan. This is a broadcaster who has called 13 consecutive Super Bowls for Westwood One Audio, and if you’re looking for an iconic Game 7 call in the NBA postseason, look no further than Harlan providing the soundtrack for the closing seconds of Game 7 of the 2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals. When Kawhi Leonard fires a rebounding, bouncing, bouncing three-pointer for the ages, Harlan memorably exclaims, “Is that the dagger? … ‘OHHHHH! Game! Series! Toronto won!”

when i arrived before the athlete In his hotel room in Boston on Sunday night, about 25 hours before 8:30 p.m. ET Game 7 between the Celtics and Heat on TNT, Harlan said he’s been busy preparing for some historical significance for the assignment. He’s believed to have called five NBA Game 7s, including the Celtics’ Game 7 victory over the Boston Bulls in the first round of the 2009 NBA Postseason.

“It’s not just a Game 7; it’s a historic Game 7 if Boston comes back and wins it,” Harlan said. “I don’t plan on favoring either team or feel like I’m dependent on one team over the other. I don’t think that would be fair to the fans, nor the two teams that worked so hard to get here. I just hope for a good match.

“What’s important is letting the game get to us. This cliché gets used in broadcasts a lot, but it’s the first thing on my mind going into Game 7. If I’m calling the Super Bowl, I don’t change my view of my own performance. I try to stick to the notes I removed from My previous game, and I’ll look at those notes during commercial breaks, making sure I bump those things in. I also want to make sure I do my part in the three-man crew (along with analysts Reggie Miller and Stan Van Gundy) to bring the story to viewers.”

During the final moments of Boston’s runaway 104-103 Game 6 win over Miami, Harlan said he tried to stay aware of the score and time, which was on the floor for both teams, and timeouts. He considers these essentials for every play-by-play basketball caller.

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“All those details are in your head, so if something happens quickly, you can jump on it and bring it there,” Harlan said of Derek White’s response. “I’m not trying to do anything outside of what I was doing except maybe slow down a bit more. That was kind of my Close to the last shot Because there was a lot going on.

“I’ve learned in my career to rarely trust my eyes and always trust the outcome. In other words, a shot that might look good may not, and a shot that doesn’t look great might as well. So the first thing you do with trumpet and light is look for a response Do. Trying to locate the official to see if he called it good. None of the three officials called it good. Because it was so close, I called out what I saw. The replay goes up after the missed shot by (Marcus) Smart. The buzzer sounded. The light is on. The play will definitely be reviewed, and then the pictures are seized. Stan came in and thought it wasn’t (good), and my role isn’t to fight that. My role is just to keep watching those responsible.”

“You’re definitely sensitive out there and pretty exposed,” Harlan continued. “I guess I trusted my instincts. I think every other announcer probably would have done the same thing. Some might have darted a little in one direction or the other, but I just connected with what I saw. I learned in tenths of a second plays like that, guesswork.” It would be the wrong way to go. I try to use discipline rather than emotion. Sure, it would have been great to let someone rip and call this historic work, but that would have been the wrong call. If I had somehow connected with him and he could have gone in the direction The other, that false call stands out. It would have been an injustice to Miami if the play wasn’t good because they’re going to the NBA Finals. So I felt discipline was the best way to go.”

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Harlan said he plans to get to the TD Garden around 6 p.m. on Monday. He likes to check where he is sitting as soon as he enters the building. He likes to feel the arena come to life. He and Van Gundy will watch pre-game warmups before being joined by additional TNT teammates for production meetings with Celtics coach Joe Mazzola and Heat coach Eric Spoelstra. This would be the last NBA game Harlan calls this season, as ABC/ESPN made it to the Finals.

“I am very humbled to be in the game,” said Harlan. “I don’t take these things for granted, and I feel a huge responsibility for them. I still feel like I’m in the seat of Marv Alpert and Dick Stockton as TNT’s former main anchors and I’m just keeping it warm for those who come after me. Good guys to me when I was a young announcer.”

Last year’s six-game NBA Finals between the Warriors and Celtics averaged 12.4 million viewers, the most-watched Finals in three years. The six-game 2021 Finals between the Bucks and Suns averaged 9.91 million, the fourth least-watched Finals ever.

There’s been a lot of chatter about the effect the Nuggets have on viewers this year, but the Finals are supposed to be even better than expected. I don’t expect a repeat in 2021. First, earlier start times will help. Games will end before midnight ET. The Celtics-Heat Series publicity (regardless of the winner) will bring some casual fans to the Finals who may not have been invested in advance, especially if Boston makes history. Outside viewership (which has been around since 2020) will also add up.

ESPN/ABC has released the broadcast schedule for the NBA Finals. there he is:

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date time (Eastern time) Game platform(s)

Thursday, June 1

8:30 p.m

Game 1: Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat / Boston Celtics

ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Radio, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes

Sunday, June 4th

8 m

Game 2: Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat / Boston Celtics

ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN App and ESPN Deportes

Wednesday, June 7th

8:30 p.m

Game 3: Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat / Boston Celtics

ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN App and ESPN Deportes

Friday, June 9th

8:30 p.m

Game Four: Denver Nuggets vs Miami Heat / Boston Celtics

ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN App and ESPN Deportes

Monday, June 12th

8:30 p.m

Game 5*: Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat/Boston Celtics

ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN App and ESPN Deportes

Thursday, June 15th

8:30 p.m

Game 6*: Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat/Boston Celtics

ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN App and ESPN Deportes

Sunday 18 June

8 m

Game 7*: Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat/Boston Celtics

ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN App and ESPN Deportes

Podcast features episode 305 of “Sports Media” the athlete Senior NBA writer Sam Amick and ESPN WNBA analyst Lachina Robinson. In this episode, Amick discusses his recent essay (“Could LeBron James Really Retire? Seems unlikely, but the influence game may have begun”); What does the post-LeBron NBA world look like as much as the content; Nuggets in the finals. Mike Malone’s take on “Us Against the World”; LeBron is the most successful athlete of the 21st century thanks to social media; and more. Robinson discusses increasing WNBA coverage in 2023; people in space who cover the league; Next Steps for the WNBA as theatrical content; potential cities for expansion; acquire a career covering women’s basketball; She is represented by powerful agent Nicole Lane; and more.

You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and more.

(Photo by Jason Tatum and Jimmy Butler in Game 6: Mike Ehrman/Getty Images)

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