Fans already were unhappy that Marc Zumoff wasn’t calling Tuesday night’s Sixers-Celtics game.
What made it worse is that Kevin McHale and the “Players Only” crew from TNT were; especially when a hot mic caught McHale calling somebody a DH – and we don’t mean designated hitter.
Coming off a commercial break in the first half, McHale and fellow commentator (and former Sixer) Jimmy Jackson were chatting when McHale called someone a “d---head.”
TNT’s cameras were focused on Jimmy Butler talking to a Sixers assistant when McHale dropped his bomb. After the game, McHale insisted he was not referring to Butler.
“No, no, no. I promise you it wasn’t him. It was somebody else.” McHale told the Inquirer without getting specific.
Editor’s note: The clip below contains profanity
It was unclear on the broadcast who McHale was talking about when he said, “(I used to) get into it with him steady … d---head. Yep. He hasn’t changed a bit, I guess.”
Then he and Jackson laughed heartily.
McHale was an executive and coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, but long before Butler played there. He has been an analyst for TNT since 2016 and was part of the national crew calling the Sixers-Celtics game at the energized Wells Fargo Center. Zumoff, the popular local play-by-play announcer, had the night off.
McHale could have been talking about an official, a peanut vendor or a heckling fan given how close the TV broadcasters are to the stands and how despised McHale is around here. He was, after all, a Hall of Fame player who helped the Celtics win three NBA titles in the 1980s, often at the Sixers’ expense.
“I apologize,” McHale said during the third quarter of the broadcast. “J.J. and I were talking about a guy we both know. (Fans) don’t need to listen to that.”