Kevin Harlan has revealed that he does not like being put in the spotlight, following courtside footage of his epic March Madness play-by-play call going viral on social media.
CBS Sports tweeted a video of the 62-year-old going off for the frantic finale of the first-round NCAA tournament game between Furman and Virginia when the Paladins banked in a three-pointer in the final seconds to shock the No. 3 seeded Cavaliers, 68-67.
As of Thursday, the clip has 8.1million views. Talk about social engagement…
Harlan made an appearance on the ‘Sports Media with Richard Deitsch’ podcast and appreciated CBS’ efforts to showcase his on-air talents though he admitted that it was ‘very uncomfortable’ having the camera’s lens focus on him.
‘Kinda embarrassed by it,’ he said of being the center of attention in the video. ‘I’m not comfortable with it. I understand why CBS would want to use that, and I guess I trust my bosses more than I trust myself in this situation.
Kevin Harlan, 64, said he felt uncomfortable knowing that a video of himself going off during the final second of the Furman-Virginia game went viral
As of Thursday, CBS’ clip of its most popular play-by-play announcer has 8.1million views
‘At the same time, if they asked me my preference, I would have said, ”Please don’t put that up there.” And I still feel the same way.’
Unfortunately for Harlan, it’s become somewhat of a common theme to show play-by-play broadcasters going bonkers in the booth after they call crucial plays, though the NBA, NFL, NCAA football and basketball commentator claims that he didn’t know the cameras were recording him.
‘It is 110 percent organic,’ Harlan said. ‘The last thing you’re thinking about is that a camera’s on you… I think I join a chorus of other announcers who do not like the camera.
‘When it was first brought to our attention… in the NFL, I begged our producer, ”Please, please, please never show this.”
‘And because they never used any footage, I forgot about it. And I do think it is kind of peeking in behind the curtain, and I just think there are some things you just don’t want to see.’
The 2022-23 season will be Harlan’s 38th year broadcasting the NBA. Seen with Reggie Miller (left) on March 9 in Memphis, Tennessee
Harlan said he ‘voiced his concern’ to his bosses and would prefer to avoid a similar situation in the future.
‘You don’t want to see how hot dogs are made,’ he said. ‘It’s like if we put a camera on you if you’re writing one of your stories for The Athletic.
‘This is kind of a personal space, and I have voiced my concern to both CBS and Turner.
‘It’s one reason why [radio network] Westwood [One] doesn’t have anything in our booth. It didn’t even cross my mind.’
Harlan recently wrapped up his 39th consecutive season doing NFL play-by-play, and 2022-23 will be his 38th year broadcasting the NBA.