It's strange times we live in, that's obvious, and we haven't gotten to every single way our world's been affected, the sports world that is, of the coronavirus outbreak. But one that we learned this week, the National Sports Media Association Annual Hall of Fame weekend, the awards weekend, it's been canceled this year in June, so the winners in 2019 are going to be recognized in 2021. Dave Gorin does a great job with that, and they're going to recognize even more winners in 2021. So I wanted to pass that along as we welcome in, for the second time, the National Sports Media Association's National Sportscaster of the Year, Kevin Harlan, that you might know from Turner Sports, CBS Sports, and Westwood One. Kevin, we haven't talked in a while, and I've been thinking about you the last few months in the way of some of the sports that you cover, and in the last few months, Kobe Bryant, he passes. You used to be the voice of the Kansas City Chiefs, you had a chance to broadcast their first Super Bowl win, and it was an amazing game to watch in that comeback. Then you have March Madness getting canceled, you were going to get assigned one of the regions as you've been assigned for the last handful of years. Greensboro would be playing right now as one of the tournament sites in our backyard, and Tom Brady, who you've covered for a long time.
It's officially announced today, he's a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Now that people have been kind of compressed to their homes for the last week or so, have you had time to process the first nearly three months of this year yet? Well, Josh, great to be on with you. No, you know, I think it's happened so fast, I'm sure I'll look back and like you've just kind of rattled off those dates and those different events and look back and say, gosh, I can't believe all that happened in a three month period. But sure enough, it has. I mean, it's been incredible what has happened just with this coronavirus and how it's affected every company in the country, every person in the country and around the world.
So that has obviously been the big headline and the fallout from that. But to think that just a few short weeks ago, we were in a sense of elation with the great Super Bowl we saw and what was going to be, I think, a pretty thrilling ride in the March Madness run for these different teams. And in the wake of Kobe Bryant, you know, passing, I mean, there has just been so much that has happened. And it's kind of like when so much happens so fast in a condensed amount of time, it really doesn't have that kind of moment where you can reflect and really kind of process it individually because here comes the next thing around the corner.
That's the Super Bowl. And then that goes away and you're trying to figure that out. And a couple weeks later, you get into the tournaments and now you find out they're not going to happen conference-wise and then the NCAA tournament. So I don't know that any of it really, you know, I guess you should just wish it were, you know, expect the unexpected at every turn. But no, this has been a very, it's been a wild ride here since the first of the year and one that I, in a lot of ways, hope we never repeat again losing a person so young and so dynamic is Kobe and of course his daughter. And then this, of course, which is just completely direct havoc on people's financial foundation and health. And it's just been a very tumultuous couple months for sure.
You have been on the call for so many great assignments over the decades. But what makes March specifically special to you? Well, just that you can have the unknown, little talked about, underpublicized team or player, you know, come out and just do an incredible job with their particular game and match up and then move on and pull off a miracle and move on. And just that's the way the tournament is set up. And there's so much parity in college basketball right now that I'm convinced we would have seen multiple upsets and moves by teams and players that we've not really zeroed in on this college basketball season. I think of two in particular, one going back to 1999 when Weber State beat North Carolina. And then just the shocking, that was a three against a 14, I believe. And then back in the early 2000s when the number one overall seed, Kansas, was beaten by Northern Iowa, a nine seed. And, you know, we all have, we've had 16s and 15s and 14s pull shocking surprises.
And, you know, Virginia affected a couple years ago in a 116 matchup. So we've had them and you never think you're going to see them, probably really don't expect them. And then it's your job as a broadcaster to be on top of them and make sure that you've grasped everything that is happening and unfolding right before your eyes.
And sometimes that can become a challenge if you don't have proper context and focus and everything else that's necessary to bring that story and make it seem real. And that's the charge in front of broadcasters and reporters to make sure they've got those kinds of tools in their toolbox to make all that happen. It's Kevin Harlan with us here on Sports Hub Triad. A year ago during the month of March, we were talking about Zion at Duke. And you said this is a guy who's so good there's going to be free agents that want to join him.
And we saw that. We saw J.J. Reddick say, I want to be a part of what New Orleans is building with David Griffin and now Van Gentry. And then right before the start of the year, we learned Zion's hurt and he's going to be out for a handful of weeks that then turned into a couple of months. And you said the conversation in NBA circles was he was a little bit too heavy. But then we see how great he's been in the last month and a half of play before things got suspended. So give me a sense behind the scenes how the conversation has changed about what Zion is versus what he was perceived to be going in. Well, I think everyone knew he was going to be great.
I think that was part of our conversation. I think they knew that he would he would be, you know, a very special player. But the way the NBA looks at their players and athletes overall, his body is not already fit.
It doesn't it kind of the optics are not good. And he's just built differently. That's just he's just he's just a differently built kid.
And so they're not going to be good. But it looks like he's able to perform stride for stride with the best players out there and have a skill set that someone that looks like him and is built like him really has not had before. So this becomes he's been an outlier in terms of of what he can do now. I still think there are people around the league that feel that he needs to tone his body. And I think when you only understand that he's what, 19, 20 years old, I mean, he's still just he's not he's not really even a man yet. I mean, he's just he's growing into what he's going to become.
And sometimes people are so quick to make these judgments. At the time that we talked, that was the thought, you know, you've had now a couple of injuries that people probably could point to, well, he's too heavy. He's got it.
He's got it. He's got to fix his body. But he's come back. And before the league was suspended, he was putting up numbers that people were hoping that a guy that was drafted that I would do and he's done. And we know the effect he's had on the team. It has really not broken through, but we know they're far more competitive.
And now they are certainly a team that you would pay attention to if they were on your upcoming schedule of games. So I think that for Zion, you know, he's probably right where he is because of what he has done, the mentality he possesses. But I still think there are many people in the league that feel that we're just seeing the beginning, because when he does grow into what his body was meant to be, that he'll be even a better player. But this is just kind of the appetizer of what is to be and if he can stay healthy. And I think people tie his long-term success, obviously, to his health, thus it gets back to a discussion on his weight and is or is any too healthy. And Alvin Gentry, the coach of the Pelicans, has been, you know, I think he's very comfortable with what he sees and the organization is comfortable with what they have and they know that he's just, he's 20 years old and that, you know, he's not even close to what the end product is going to be. So I think that he probably has surprised some with how quickly he's come out of the gates after missing so much time and how good he was, the effect he had on his team, what he could do against the best players in the league, and now they're salivating about what he is going to be once he becomes, you know, listen, when Kevin Garnett was in the NBA in a grant, he was 17 and he wasn't 20, he was thought to be way too thin and far too skinny to be a force. Well, his first year, he was showing things that had the people saying what they're saying now about Zion, like wait till, wait till, wait till. And so I think with both, you saw what happened. Garnett grew into his body, filled out a little bit, added the body that you would have as a grown adult and I think people are kind of feeling the same way, maybe a little bit reversed and what a more lean and chiseled Zion Williamson is going to look like and play like, more importantly.
And so that becomes, I think, a constant conversation and until he's been in the league for five years, until he's in his mid 20s, late 20s, and does have the body of an adult. Kevin Harlan, I really do appreciate your time and we look forward to seeing you hopefully during the Panthers football season, but if not, we'll see you for the NSMA National Award ceremony next summer in 2021. Thank you so much for the time.
Thanks Josh, stay in touch, always great to be out with you my friend, take care. Got it, that's Kevin Harlan. From Turner Sports, Westwood won, and the, what am I forgetting, CBS Sports on the NFL, television wise. So, Robert Walsh, when I think about great voices, that's the first thing I think of. Like that tandem that they have, where you have Kevin Harlan on one of the NBA Thursday night games, and you got Marv Albert on the other. I don't think it gets as good as that, like we just heard Kevin Harlan's voice, we don't have Marv Albert in studio right now, but we do have Aaron who has a very limited Marv Albert impression. Aaron, fire away. Yes, I'm the foul! Very good. Where the hell did that come from? I've been told something about Cam Newton, some things that are interesting, the last 48 hours, some things that might be surprising to you about Cam Newton and his market, as he might become a free agent very soon in the words of Jordan Rondry, who covers the Panthers very closely. I will tell you some of the things I've learned, next on The Drive.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-11 10:41:34 / 2023-02-11 10:46:33 / 5