Working remotely during the pandemic has been an adjustment for all of us, including veteran announcer Kevin Harlan. The longtime CBS, TNT and Westwood One announcer has called countless Super Bowls, Final Fours, boxing title bouts and now, thanks to the unusual circumstances brought on by COVID-19, a preseason game from the basement of his home in Greater Kansas City.
Harlan has had a busy few days to say the least. He was in the booth for Sunday’s Bears/Texans matchup on CBS, which he followed up by taking the mic for Westwood One’s radio broadcast of Ravens/Browns Monday night. The longtime play-by-play voice was at it again Tuesday, joining color analyst Grant Hill for Kings/Warriors on TNT, this time calling the action from his basement, of all places.
Harlan’s daughter, ESPN sideline reporter Olivia Harlan-Dekker, brought her Twitter followers behind the curtain, providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse of her father’s new basement studio complete with a video monitor and TNT backdrop. You might be wondering why a broadcasting legend like Harlan would be relegated to his family’s basement instead of working from a proper, ground-level studio with better ventilation. Dekker offered a simple explanation for this—it would get in the way of mom’s Christmas decorations upstairs.
One would imagine Harlan will be back calling games in person soon enough, but while he’s pulling double-duty, juggling his basketball responsibilities with what little is left of the NFL season, there’s something to be said for the convenience of announcing a game from home.