Kevin Harlan is 'grateful beyond measure' if calling NBA games for TNT will soon end

Harlan was the Timberwolves' first play-by-play voice from 1989-98

Kevin Harlan will be on the play-by-play call for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves. Unfortunately, Friday night's broadcast could be one of the last NBA games the veteran announcer calls for TNT.

Amid reports that Warner Bros. Discovery was outbid by NBC for its NBA rights package in the league's next media deal, Harlan appeared on the "SI Media with Jimmy Traina" podcast to talk about TNT possibly losing the NBA after a nearly 40-year partnership and how that development could affect his broadcasting career.

"There's nothing I can do and so I guess my immediate feeling is that I want to do the best job I can possibly do right now," said Harlan, who's called broadcasts for TNT since 1996. "I control the things I can control and that's my performance and doing the best I can do for these next however many games we've got left in this series."

Harlan went on to explain how meaningful the NBA is to him, as it was the first sport he worked on out of college, calling broadcasts for the Kansas City Kings.

During his career, Harlan was also the lead announcer on the Timberwolves' TV broadcasts for the first nine seasons of the franchise's existence from 1989-98. The team recently honored Harlan before Game 4 of its second-round playoff series with the Denver Nuggets.

It's possible — if not likely — that Harlan would be tabbed as a top play-by-play voice for NBC or Amazon when those outlets begin broadcasting NBA games with the 2025-26 season. He calls the NFL and NCAA tournament games for CBS (and for Westwood One on radio) and while working for both CBS and NBC might seem unusual for an announcer, it would be for two different sports.

However, Harlan is a cherished voice for fans of both basketball and football. NBC or Amazon hiring him to call NBA games would appear to be an easy move. But broadcasting is a business and contracts may not be that simple, especially when it might involve a rival over-the-air network. Yet Harlan hopes he can continue calling NBA games.

"I'd be lying if I said that the NBA didn't have a very special place in my heart," Harlan told Traina, "and I hope in some form or fashion that I continue with Turner and if not with Turner, we'll let the the fates guide me.”