Tuesday September 26, 2023
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ESPN Parts Ways With NBA Analyst Mark Jackson

  • Despite having two years left on his deal, Mark Jackson is the latest notable on-air talent let go by ESPN.
  • Mike Breen’s longtime NBA broadcast partners, Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy will be replaced next season.
Despite having two years left on his deal, Mark Jackson is the latest notable on-air talent let go by ESPN.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Mark Jackson has been let go by ESPN despite having two years remaining on his contract, reports journalist Peter Vescey. Layoffs at ESPN already included the firings of 20 on-air talents in June, including Jackson’s longtime NBA broadcast partner Jeff Van Gundy. A source with knowledge of the move confirmed to FOS.

Sources told Front Office Sports that veteran NBA coach Doc Rivers and Doris Burke are expected to replace Jackson and Van Gundy in the booth and join play-by-play announcer Mike Breen for NBA games on ESPN and ABC this upcoming season. ESPN has not yet hired Rivers, who coached the Philadelphia 76ers over the past three seasons before being fired in May. 

Burke’s ascension at ESPN would make history as she would become the first woman to call a major U.S. men’s championship on TV when the NBA Finals broadcast on ABC. 

Jackson, a former NBA point guard, rejoined ESPN and ABC in 2014 as a basketball commentator after being at the networks from 2006 to 2011. He also formally was a broadcaster alongside Marv Albert, calling New Jersey Nets games on YES Network, and had a head coaching stint with the Golden State Warriors from 2011 to 2014.

FOS reported earlier today that Jackson could have accepted a demotion by ESPN to join the network’s No. 2 NBA broadcast team potentially, but he’s evidentially rejected that offer to leave the network entirely. In 2022, Jackson worked alongside Mark Jones and Lisa Salters at ESPN to form the first All-Black broadcast team to call an NBA Finals game. 

Other notable basketball-focused on-air talents let go by ESPN include Jalen Rose and Max Kellerman, while Vince Carter is not expected to have his contract renewed.

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