• Loading stock data...
Sunday, June 16, 2024

Doris Burke Set to Make TV History With NBA Finals Call

  • The Hall of Famer is the first woman to call a major U.S. men’s championship on TV.
  • She has called the Finals on ESPN Radio for the last four years.
Oct 22, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; ESPN broadcasters Doris Burke (left) and Ryan Ruocco during the NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN analyst Doris Burke will make history Thursday night when she becomes the first woman to call any major U.S. men’s championship on television.

The Hall of Famer will call Game 1 of the Mavericks-Celtics Finals on ABC from Boston, working alongside Mike Breen and fellow first-time Finals broadcaster JJ Redick, who earlier this season replaced Doc Rivers on ESPN’s top team.

“Nervous as hell,” Burke said earlier this year when asked how she feels about calling the Finals. “If you happen to watch Game 1, I’m going to try and not have my voice quiver.” Burke then credited her many years as a sideline reporter for the Finals, as well as the mastery of Breen, Redick, and the entire production crew, as reasons why she feels more prepared and knows it will go well.

This isn’t Burke’s first time calling the NBA Finals. She was the series’ first female game analyst back in 2020 when she covered it on ESPN Radio, which she has done for every series since. She also spent nine years as the Finals’ lead sideline reporter. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame awarded Burke its Curt Gowdy Media Award in ’18.

Rivers and Burke, who has covered hoops at ESPN since 1991, earned their spots on the top team after the network let go of Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. Van Gundy was one of 20 on-air talents laid off last summer, while Jackson reportedly parted ways with ESPN with two years left on his contract after being offered a demotion to the No. 2 broadcast crew.

Her teammate Redick is linked to the Lakers’ head coaching vacancy, which would mean his departing the network after the Finals, though he is not the only option on the table. Burke, on the other hand, should be calling Finals for years to come, as ESPN is reported to once again receive the NBA’s best media-rights package and keep the championship series on ABC.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Golf’s ‘Anchor Sites’ Have the U.S. Open on a Lifetime Plan

Pinehurst No. 2 will host four more U.S. Opens through 2047.

Charles Barkley Announces Retirement From Television

Charles Barkley announced that the 2024-25 season would be his final season as an NBA commentator, capping off 25 years with Turner.

ESPN Bought Its Tiny Stanley Cup Desk at a Canadian Furniture Store

An ESPN spokesperson says the tight spot was chosen for its view of the ice.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How the US Open is Designed for Drama


Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.
June 12, 2024

Paramount-Skydance Merger Off: Could Deal With WBD Be Revived?

Shari Redstone abruptly calls off potential merger discussions between the CBS Sports parent and Skydance Media.
June 12, 2024

Sage Steele Claims in Suit That Her Agents Prioritized Relationship With ESPN Over Her

She says CAA chose its relationship over ESPN over advocating for her.

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
June 11, 2024

USA Cricket Is on the Cusp of a Historic Win. But Who Can Watch?

On Wednesday, the U.S. will face the pre-tournament favorite, India.
June 11, 2024

ESPN Extension Could Set Up Shannon Sharpe As Stephen A. Smith’s Successor

Sharpe is writing one of the great career comebacks in sports TV history.
June 11, 2024

After Long-Term French Open Deal, What’s Next for TNT Sports?

A 10-year rights deal for the French Open immediately becomes the longest in Warner Bros. Discovery’s portfolio.
June 10, 2024

What Would TNT Sports Look Like Without the NBA? Here’s What We Know

Warner Bros. Discovery still has plenty of other sports rights.