Jason Whitlock has offered a controversial take on ESPN promoting Doris Burke to premium NBA coverage amid a shocking company shakeup.
Burke is now set to be part of a crew covering the NBA Finals, with the network laying Jeff Van Gundy off several weeks ago. Mark Jackson has also been let go, according to reports, and Burke is now expected to join Mike Breen for the NBA finals while Doc Rivers is also expected to come on board.
Whitlock, who often stirs the pot, has criticized ESPN’s decision to promote Burke, insisting she is not qualified for the job.
“I absolutely love Doris Burke. She does a really good job, but she is not qualified to be the No. 1 broadcaster on the NBA,” he said on his ‘Fearless’ podcast.
This is hardly surprising coming from Whitlock, who has been vocal over ESPN’s dealings since they let him go for the second time in 2015.
The analyst does not think Burke can speak her mind about NBA players and coaches.
“All of that is out the window. You place a woman in this spot – Doris Burke is good, but if you think she’s woman enough to criticize these multimillionaire NBA players and coaches, it’s not gonna happen,” he added.
“When one of those players looks over and glares or tries to intimidate, what’d you say? What do you know?’ And again, I know she played a little basketball but not in the NBA.”
Van Gundy spent 25 years working as a coach and a head coach in the NBA and was popular for his criticism of the NBA’s officiating. It’s believed that was the main reason for his firing.
Jackson, on the other hand, was a star point guard in the NBA and is responsible for putting the foundation in place for the Warriors’ dynasty.
Burke has some basketball experience as well, having starred for Providence, where she averaged 12.1 points and 5.3 assists a game. She was an All-American in 1987 and graduated as the school’s all-time assists leader that year.
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