Kevin Harlan meant no disrespect toward Odell Beckham Jr.
The play-by-play announcer set the record straight in an interview with USA Today about his comments after Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Suns and Mavericks, when he appeared to take a shot at Beckham’s Super Bowl credentials.
“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.
Beckham and girlfriend Lauren Wood were leaving when Harlan noted Beckham’s “good seats” for the game. Reggie Miller, who was on the call with Harlan, interjected to add Beckham is a “Super Bowl champion,” to which Harlan replied, “he blew a knee in the Super Bowl.”
Harlan seemed to try and keep going but Miller began talking over him, adding “he was magnificent to that point.”
The broadcast then cut to an interview with Chris Paul before Harlan could continue.
“I couldn’t finish it and I got attacked and that’s the kind of world we live in now,” Harlan said. “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.”
Harlan, who calls NFL games for Westwood One, is quite familiar with Beckham and the path he took to the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams last year.
“I was going to tell a story. I know who he is. I’ve called every year of his career,” Harlan said. “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.”
Beckham, meanwhile, remains a free agent as he rehabs that knee injury he sustained in the Super Bowl.