The third night of “Players Only” broadcasts on TNT this season showcased a little raw emotion, albeit because Kevin McHale didn’t know his microphone was on.
During the second quarter of Tuesday’s Celtics victory in Philadelphia over the revamped Sixers, McHale — calling the game with Jim Jackson as part of the national network’s weekly handing over of its broadcasts to former players — referred to an unidentified person as a “d—khead.” At the time, the screen showed mercurial Sixer Jimmy Butler talking with Philly assistant coach Billy Lange, but McHale told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he wasn’t referring to Butler.
TNT's Kevin McHale caught on the mic calling someone a "d—head" during tonight's Sixers-Celtics broadcast. pic.twitter.com/Oi0Cz8ZyJ2
— Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) February 13, 2019
“I used to get into it with him steady,” McHale said as the broadcast came back from commercial. The two chuckled in agreement, noting the unidentified person “hasn’t changed a bit.” McHale, who began his second stint with Turner Sports during the 2016 playoffs, apologized in the third quarter.
“JJ and I were talking about a guy we knew,” he said, “and I used a very unflattering, not nice term and it caught the air.”
Arguably, it was the most interesting part of the broadcast. And if, as plenty on Twitter surmised, McHale was talking about 24-year NBA referee Scott Foster, he wouldn’t be the only person who was brought to cussing by the referees on Tuesday night.
Joel Embiid sure knows how to end a post-game presser 🙃 pic.twitter.com/k7o3Evq2Ea
— ESPN (@espn) February 13, 2019