Monday, May 18th, 2020


 “It put everything into perspective…To get out of the car to pure silence was really a moment that helped me understand how big of an event it was without the fans there.” – Harvick on winning yesterday’s race at Darlington without any fans present

“It just made me realize how exciting and how fun ‘90s basketball was…It was definitely the greatest era of basketball and Mike (Jordan) dominated that era.” – Shaquille O’Neal on “The Last Dance”

“I think the world now knows that Matt Wolff will be a star on the PGA TOUR.” – Steve Sands on yesterday’s TaylorMade Driving Relief event

“It doesn’t matter your salary or how many Super Bowls you win, when you draft a player that high, eventually you want that young player to play. I think it was a wake-up call for Aaron (Rodgers).” – Rodney Harrison on the Packers drafting Jordan Love

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 18, 2020 – Mike Tirico hosted today’s episode of Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN and was joined remotely by:

    • NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick, who won yesterday’s return race at Darlington
    • “The Last Dance” director Jason Hehir
    • NBC Football Night in America analyst Rodney Harrison
    • NBC Sports/GOLF Channel reporter & host Steve Sands
    • NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury


The Rich Eisen Show followed Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN, as host Rich Eisen was joined by:

    • Basketball Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal
    • NFL Network chief correspondent and HBO Real Sports correspondent Andrea Kramer
    • MLB Network’s Bob Costas
    • Actor Luke Wilson from The CW’s DC’s Stargirl


Following are highlights from Lunch Talk Live on NBCSN:

Kevin Harvick on winning yesterday’s race at Darlington without fans: “For me, it put everything into perspective. As a driver being in the car and all the emotions that go with that, to get out of the car to pure silence was really a moment that helped me understand how big of an event it was without the fans there.”

Harvick on if The Real Heroes 400 race at Darlington felt like a normal race: “For me, the anxiety of not knowing how it was going to go from the pre-race screening — which went very smooth. Once I was able to get into the racetrack and my motorhome, I was thinking about what was going to happen on the first lap and how to take care of the car.”

Harvick on how the precautions affected the race in Darlington: “I’m a guy that loves to have that personal interaction with my team and not being able to read the emotions on anyone’s face is just different.”

Harvick on what he’s doing physically to prepare for his next race: “It’s trying to stick with the same routine. I’m a little bit sore today from everything we haven’t been doing – getting beat around the car. If you look at all the events coming up, it’s very important from a hydration standpoint and listening to your body to give it what it needs.”

Harvick on racing with his friend Dr. Josh Hughes’ name on his car: “Dr. (Josh) Hughes…is one of my good friends. To hear his events in the emergency room and all the things he’s dealing with personally, I realized how big of a moment it was each and every time I spoke to him to get his mind off of what he’s doing at work.”

Steve Sands on returning to work at the TaylorMade Driving Relief event this past weekend: “It was really strange, but great to be back after nine weeks away…It has been a massive void, not only what we do as a living, but also as a viewer…Just to get back at some semblance of normalcy, it was a really cool weekend.”

Sands on the difficulty of returning to work mentally: “It was much easier than I thought it was going to be. What was strange was having such a small crew — only 28 people on the TV side. We normally have well into 100 people there with a TV compound, trucks, trailers and all kinds of people floating around. It felt real great to get back after it.”

Sands on not having fans at yesterday’s event: “Yesterday, being at Seminole, a small venue, with four guys in one group, it wasn’t nearly as odd as I thought it was going to be…It was odd in a sense that it was quiet. When you’re going to a professional sporting event, you are there to see people even if it is a charity event. I think it’s going to be a really big deal to not have fans when the PGA TOUR and sports return.”

Sands on over $5.5 million raised from the TaylorMade Driving Relief event: “No other organization raises more money than the PGA TOUR, and the players give their time — it’s what they do and part of the DNA of the sport.”

Sands on Matthew Wolff’s long drives: “The most interesting texts I got were players on the PGA TOUR that couldn’t imagine where Matt Wolff was hitting the golf ball. I think the world now knows that Matt Wolff will be a star on the PGA TOUR.”

Rodney Harrison on how virtual meetings can help players prepare for the upcoming NFL season: “As an individual player, you have to put yourself in the best possible position. With those virtual meetings — you can get a lot of them — the key is to make sure you are attentive, write notes and do all the necessary things.”

Harrison on Aaron Rodgers’ reaction to the Packers drafting Jordan Love: “I think he’s an older player now and understands it’s a business. All players are paranoid. It doesn’t matter your salary or how many Super Bowls you win, when you draft a player that high, eventually you want that young player to play. I think it was a wake-up call for Aaron (Rodgers) and hurt his feelings ultimately because he feels he has done so much for the organization.”

Harrison on the Patriots’ leadership after Tom Brady’s departure: “Once these facilities start to open, you start to find out about a guy’s work ethic and his commitment to the classroom work and organization. I think that is the last thing the Patriots are worried about — they have so many quiet leaders on the defensive and offensive sides of the ball and, of course, you have Bill Belichick.”

Harrison on the Patriots upcoming NFL season: “I think this a team looking at a 10-6 record, and maybe 9-7 at the worst-case scenario.”

Harrison on Cam Newton still being a free agent: “I’m not really surprised because I think a lot of teams are hesitant to accept that backup quarterback job. Cam Newton has always been a starter and wants to be on the football field. If he’s not willing to take that backup job for this year, I wouldn’t think about signing Cam Newton.”

Jason Hehir on re-watching each episode of “The Last Dance”: “I was watching with everyone last night because I hadn’t seen those episodes on a TV screen, just on a laptop…because we finished those episodes in quarantine.”

Hehir on rushing the post-production process of “The Last Dance”: “It was technologically a big challenge because we had to go from a multi-dollar facility to our own apartments. We have brilliant technical people on our team and world class editors that happened to have world class setups already at home. We are able to go seamlessly with large hard drives of footage.”

Hehir on Michael Jordan’s thoughts on the finished product: “I heard he was happy with it, but can’t say for certain because I haven’t spoken or communicated with him since the last time I saw him in December when we did that interview when he’s in the black shirt. I’ve heard through a couple of sources that he enjoyed the last couple of shows.”

Hehir on interviewing Michael Jordan: “This has been a product of two years of research and preparation to just get him in the chair for the first of what was three interviews…It’s a testament to his charisma and down-to-earth nature that makes it easy to have a conversation with him. He respects people that do their homework and we definitely did our homework as a crew.”

Hehir on the creative freedom during the editorial process: “I ran into zero stop signs in the editorial process. Michael was involved, but in a distant satellite-level while making it. He never came close to the editing room and only received cuts as they were about to go on air. I think Michael is above the fray when it comes to what he wants in and out.”

Jim Salisbury on how players will deal with the new MLB safety protocols for the upcoming season: “Baseball players are creatures of routine and habit. They spit a lot, you don’t know they are even doing it because it is in their subconscious and DNA. Things like that are going to be hard for them to break.”

Salisbury on if there will be an MLB season this year: “I still think there will be some baseball this summer. It’s very dangerous for the sport and industry to just vanish for one and a half years.”

Salisbury on owner and player negotiations: “When these two sides talk about money, they draw lines and eventually work their way in the middle. One of the things with this coronavirus crisis, and shutdown, there’s a real sense of community out there. Baseball needs to show that same sense of community — the owners and players need to come together if health and safety can be worked out.”

Following are highlights from The Rich Eisen Show on NBCSN:

Shaquille O’Neal on “The Last Dance”: “It just made me realize how exciting and how fun ‘90s basketball was…It was definitely the greatest era of basketball and Mike (Jordan) dominated that era.”

O’Neal on Phil Jackson joining the Lakers after he left the Bulls: “Kobe (Bryant) and I were still looking for someone to get us to the next level. So, when I found out he wasn’t having a good time (with the Bulls), I went to Mr. (Jerry) West and Mr. (Mitch) Kupchak and said this is who we need…Once he came, everyone’s confidence just roe to the next level.”

O’Neal on Jackson: “Once we had that formula for how to win, we were just thirsty for more…I don’t think we ever could have got three (championships) without Phil at the wheel. We probably could have squeezed off one, but three in a row? I don’t think we could have done that without Phil Jackson.”

O’Neal on if his Lakers three-peat team would beat either of the Bulls’ three-peat teams: “I would have to go with us, and the reason why is…who is going to guard me?”

O’Neal on the greatest-ever debate between Michael Jordan and LeBron James: “If you’re going to have that conversation, there has to be another name added to that…Kobe’s name has to be added to that…To me, Michael Jordan is the best ever, and if you’re going to have the best-ever conversation, it has to be three names, period. It has to be Mike, Kobe and LeBron (James). That’s it, nobody else.”

Andrea Kramer on what she learned about Michael Jordan from “The Last Dance”: “I appreciated that he stayed true to who he was…He was fairly unvarnished. I don’t know that I learned anything about that, but I was happy to see that that he was still pretty genuine.”

Kramer on her relationship with Michael Jordan: “From my standpoint, I was there for the good, the bad, the ugly…Building up that relationship with Michael. Probably the biggest story that I ever broke was Jordan coming back to the NBA and then doing the first interview with him when he did come back…I wasn’t just there for some of the good times and I guess Michael respected that and that’s why he did give me the access that he did.”

Kramer on the passing of Phyllis George: “She better mean something to every woman that is involved in, was in or thinking of going into sports broadcasting…She had so much courage and she overcame so much…She played such a pivotal role for young girls to be able to look at her and say, ‘Wow, she’s up there with the big boys.’”

(I think we can do without this)Luke Wilson on “The Last Dance”: “I can’t wait to see it…I just always, like everybody else, just loved him. I can’t wait to see it. Such an interesting dynamic with Phil Jackson and all of those other players.”

Wilson on missing sports: “My brother Andrew and another friend texted me and said they were watching Jack’s (Nicklaus) press conference from ’86 after he won The Masters…They were talking about it like it was happening, that’s how kind of sports-starved they were.”

Wilson on yesterday’s TaylorMade Driving Relief event: “I watched the highlights. It looked cool and Seminole is such a cool course. Cool just to see those pros out there…(Golf’s) probably what I follow the most along with the Dallas Cowboys.”