Imagine being the voice of NBA 2K and being responsible for saying every name perfectly.
Then you’d be broadcaster, Kevin Harlan. Tongue twisters likes Giannis Antetokounmpo and Victor Oladipo are pretty regular practice.
Add another name to the pot: Jonas Valanciunas.
According to Harlan, the Toronto Raptors’ fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, was pronouncing his name differently earlier in his career and later did something completely different.
“What happens is these kids say their names into a microphone and I listen to it and then I’ll go on and record a segment of them playing, my recollection is he did not say it ‘valance-yoon-iz,’” Kevin Harlan told me on Scoop B Radio.
Kevin Harlan spoke with me on Scoop B Radio about the mixup. Press Play Below!
Harlan says he learned of the error on the gaming side after watching his son play the game and hearing the error.
“I made a mental note of that one,” he joked.
“I heard it when my son was playing the old version and I said: ‘Oh I can’t hear that!’”
That’s where he became a perfectionist.
“We came back we recorded,” he said. “Everything Valanciunas that I had ever recorded, I said I wanna do every one of them over again.”
Jonas Valanciunas has career averages of 11 points and 8 rebounds. Harlan says he believes that with the Toronto Raptors gaining prominence in the NBA postseason, JV made a switch to a more sophisticated pronunciation and the veteran broadcaster followed suit! “It’s not fair to the kid,” he said.
“Granted, he changed his name, which we can’t help so we went back and changed everything with Valanciunas.”