ESPN turned heads when they let go of longtime NBA color commentator Jeff Van Gundy but not his partner Mark Jackson. It seems they had another move in store for him.
The New York Post reported Monday that Mark Jackson will be removed from the network’s top NBA broadcasting team. The network will be replacing him with Doris Burke.
Andrew Marchand reports that Mark Jackson will be demoted from the top broadcasting team.
“ESPN is closing in on promoting Doris Burke to the NBA Finals, demoting Mark Jackson, and hiring Doc Rivers in the wake of the Jeff Van Gundy firing, The Post has learned,” he reported.
This decision has left Jackson stunned.
“This has left Jackson in peril.
Sources said Jackson could stay on and join play-by-player Mark Jones on the network’s second team. If he balks at that option, he could be headed out of ESPN.
ESPN declined to comment.”
Van Gundy and Jackson were two-thirds of ESPN’s top broadcasting trio alongside play-by-play commentator Mike Breen. To see two of them affected by recent layoffs left some fans wondering what led to that decision.
Van Gundy was arguably the biggest name among ESPN’s list of 20 layoffs of on-air personalities. Other names laid off included Max Kellerman, Jalen Rose, Suzy Kolber, and Keyshawn Johnson. He served 16 years as an NBA analyst for ESPN before getting fired.
He’s been rumored to be interested in a return to NBA coaching.
No word on what Mark Jackson will do as of now. It does not appear he can go the NBA coaching route like Van Gundy is trying to do. It seems that avenue of his career was shutdown long ago after his tenure with the Warriors.
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