February 23, 2024

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Doris Burke ‘set to be promoted by ESPN to lead NBA analyst with Doc Rivers at the expense of Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy’

Doris Burke ‘set to be promoted by ESPN to lead NBA analyst with Doc Rivers at the expense of Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy’

  • Two of ESPN’s lead NBA team – Jackson and Van Gundy – have been ‘laid off’
  • Doris Burke will be the first lead analyst covering a major sports league in the US 
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news 

ESPN has made another surprising move relating to its sports coverage, laying off beloved NBA analyst Mark Jackson while reportedly promoting longtime female reporter Doris Burke, and hiring Doc Rivers to be its co-analysts.

Jackson’s former colleague Jeff Van Gundy was also relieved of his duties following the NBA Finals after 16 years covering the Association for ESPN.

The pair formed a three-man team alongside celebrated NBA commentator, Mike Breen, in what was a widely respected and enjoyed crew. Clearly, such sentiment wasn’t held in Bristol

The New York Post reports Burke will be promoted to the position once held by the former NBA coaches. Burke will be creating history of sorts and built her reputation as a reporter before eventually moving to the sideline.

While universally respected, her NBA pedigree can be hardly compared to that of Van Gundy and Jackson — who said in a statement he was ‘shocked and dismayed’ at his enforced exit from ESPN. 

Doris Burke

Doc Rivers

Doris Burke & Doc Rivers are reportedly set to be the lead co-analysts for ESPN’s NBA coverage

Mark Jackson was laid off after 15+ years with ESPN and provided a classy statement Monday

Mark Jackson was laid off after 15+ years with ESPN and provided a classy statement Monday

Jackson and Van Gundy (R) were a widely respected & enjoyed part of ESPN's broadcast team

Jackson and Van Gundy (R) were a widely respected & enjoyed part of ESPN’s broadcast team

‘Although shocked and dismayed with the suddenness of it all, I would like to thank ESPN and all the staff of the NBA ESPN crew for allowing me to be a part of the organization for the past 15+ years,’ Jackson wrote in a statement. 

‘It has been an honor to sit beside two LEGENDS in the business, who are like brothers to me, Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy, and learn so much from them. 

‘To all the staff and crew, that may have never been seen on camera… please know that you were always seen by me and so greatly appreciated. 

‘I wish greater measures of success to the new ESPN team. May they continue to elevate this game that has given me a home and a life. ‘I leave ESPN with nothing but gratitude, all the while knowing that my highest praise goes to God!’

Burke played college basketball for four seasons for Providence Friars women’s team. Meanwhile, Jackson played 17 seasons in the NBA before four seasons as the Golden State Warriors head coach – between 2011-14 – and is regularly credited for laying the foundation for the franchise’s dynasty. He was an All-Star in 1989 and won Rookie of the Year.

The partnership of Rivers and Burke is likely to have a more NBA-positive theme, in contrast to Van Gundy who was, at times, critical of the Association. According to the Post, deals for Burke and Rivera are not yet ‘finalized but are heading in that direction.’ 

Rivers, who was fired by the Philadelphia 76ers following a blowout in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semis vs. Boston, has previously worked in the booth. The former Celtics and Clippers coach joined Al Michaels in the ABC booth for the 2003-2004 after being fired by Orlando just 11 games in.