Doc Rivers In, Mark Jackson Out On ESPN NBA Broadcasting Team

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The sweeping changes at ESPN continue as we head into the month of August. It was just a month ago that the worldwide leader in sports made drastic moves to its collection of on-air talent, letting some of the most recognizable faces in the company go.

Rivers, Burke To Replace Jackson, Van Gundy On ESPN

The moves came as a shock. NBA talent like Jeff Van Gundy and Jalen Rose were given the axe, and the network lost Keyshawn Johnson, Steve Young, and Matt Hasselbeck from the NFL side. Long-time SportsCenter anchors Suzy Kolber and Neil Everett were given the boot, as was Max Kellerman.

The company included the following in a statement about the layoffs:

This is an extremely challenging process, involving individuals who have had tremendous impact on our company. These difficult decisions, based more on overall efficiency than merit, will help us meet our financial targets and ensure future growth.

Some of the changes could be due to ESPN eventually welcoming Pat McAfee to the network, who is one of the top broadcasters on any platform.

A month later, we are starting to get a clearer picture on whom the replacements might be around the network. On Monday, a report came out regarding who will be manning the NBA broadcast teams.

Mike Breen Will Remain As The Play-By-Play Guy

Mike Breen remains as the play-by-play guy on ESPN’s A-Team. He along with Van Gundy and Mark Jackson made up the voices of the network’s basketball broadcasts for many years, having been on the call for recent NBA Finals. But with Van Gundy getting axed by the company, there was new blood needed.

The new reports say that Jackson will actually be demoted, either to ESPN’s B-Team broadcast, or off of the network completely. The replacements for he and Van Gundy are rumored to be long-time commentator Doris Burke, and recently fired NBA coach Doc Rivers, who has plenty of broadcasting experience himself.

Nothing is set in stone yet and there are still changes that could be made, and the future of Mark Jackson certainly needs to be decided. But the changes to ESPN have become apparent, and some of the voices that we’ve been used to hearing over the last decade will be changing this coming year.

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