Calling a sports game is difficult. If it’s a boring game you have to fill the time with meaningless trivia or boring, halfway relevant anecdotes. If it’s an exciting game then the pressure is on for you to make lightning quick, 100% accurate analysis. It’s understandable that every once in a while a sportscaster makes a mistake. But Reggie Miller did NOT make a mistake, despite what all the internet trolls are saying!
During the Warriors/Pelicans Playoff game last night, Reggie Miller used one of the English language’s most popular expressions, “no pun intended,” in an interesting way.
First of all, the pun wasn’t intended, whether it was a good pun or a bad pun or not even close to a pun, Reggie Miller was essentially apologizing. So people on the internet are so thirsty for controversy that they are mad at the poor guy for apologizing? Fine, this is the America you want to live in, I guess.
Secondly, on the surface it seems like Reggie Miller was saying a sentence, everything was going along nicely, words were followed by more different words, and then he lost track of his train of thought and felt like some sort of oft-used phrase should be inserted to break up whatever the hell crap he was saying and he thought no one would notice because no one was paying attention to whatever the hell crap he was saying anyway. This is the oldest sports commentator move in the book, dating back to Harry Caray and his lies about seeing chesty women catch foul balls.You can practically major in inserting meaningless filler phrases into color commentary at Syracuse!
HOWEVER, if we really break down what Reggie Miller said, then you start to see just how observant Reggie Miller is as a basketball commentator and how he is a stickler for proper word usage and clarity of expression.
— Reggie Miller
“I think Anthony Davis is starting to recognize, you know what, ‘I might be the best player on the floor’ no pun intended Steph Curry, I do a little bit more for my team…”
First of all, Reggie Miller is saying the pun through Anthony Davis’ perspective. He’s basically positing that Anthony Davis says the pun and that Anthony Davis also realizes he has unintentionally said a pun and that he (Anthony Davis) follows the unintentional pun with a theoretical “no pun intended” directed to Steph Curry, who is a player on the other team who happens to not be on the floor at the time and who also happens to have a name that is usually given to women (a fact that will become relevant in a second).
So, the pun, which was uttered by Miller speaking from Davis’ perspective, is that Anthony Davis is saying, “Hey, I think I’m the best player on the floor [meaning the basketball floor] even though you may be the best player in the game BUT [and this is where Reggie Miller loses most of us] I don’t want you to think that I am saying ”fleur" [which, of course, is a word that Dictionary.com defines as “a female given name”]. Since Steph Curry has a name that is usually used for people of the female gender, you can see why Reggie Miller would want to make sure this theoretical Anthony Davis would want to clear up any thoughts that he was making fun of his opponent Steph Curry’s female sounding name because that’s just a low blow, man.
Is that convoluted? Of course it is. But have you seen Miller’s famous 8 points in 9 seconds? That’s pretty convoluted too, but I don’t remember people complaining about that!