ESPN’s “NBA Countdown" delivered a cringeworthy moment between host Mike Greenberg and Knicks star Julius Randle.
Published: 2021-10-21 11:25 am
Mike Greenberg’s handshake with Julius Randle couldn’t have been more awkward

ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” delivered a cringeworthy moment between host Mike Greenberg and Knicks star Julius Randle.

At the end of the pregame show Wednesday at Madison Square Garden — where the Knicks beat the Celtics in double overtime — Randle ran over to the new “Countdown” crew and had an awkward handshake with Greenberg.

The “Get Up” host appeared to lean in for a hug, but received a pat on the stomach and a slight hand-slap from Randle.

Meanwhile, Randle offered handshakes to Greenberg’s co-hosts: analysts Jalen Rose, Michael Wilbon and Stephen A. Smith.

The moment appeared to fluster Greenberg as he thought they had gone to commercial break, not realizing the broadcast was still live until Smith told him.

The new “NBA Countdown” crew made their show debut Wednesday. Greenberg replaced former host Maria Taylor, who left ESPN for NBC in August after being involved in a scandal with Rachel Nichols.

Nichols was recorded in her hotel room during the 2020 NBA bubble in Orlando, saying she believed Taylor took over Nichols’ NBA Finals hosting duties that year because of ESPN’s “crappy longtime record on diversity.” Nichols’ daily ESPN show, “The Jump,” was later cancelled by the network.

ESPN’s Mike Greenberg (l.) and Knicks star Julius Randle (r.) had an awkward handshake during “NBA Countdown.”

Meanwhile, fans had a field day on Twitter with Greenberg and Randle’s on-court greeting.

One fan tweeted, “Mike Greenberg wanted a hug then a handshake and had to settle for getting slapped in the stomach by Julius Randle and it was so awkward that it absolutely halted the entire broadcast for 45 seconds while mike processed how badly that greeting went.”

Mike Greenberg, Julius Randle
Getty Images; Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Another fan tweeted, “Mike Greenberg fumble the dap with Randle,” with crying-laughing emojis.

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