Now this is how you end a week of announcing news on a good note. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that Stephen A. Smith’s role for this upcoming NBA Draft is going to be limited to just player interviews….

Stephen A. Smith, who can be an effective communicator when he is not morphing into ‘Screamin’ A.” Smith, has been bumped from the main set and instead will interview drafted players — an assignment he handled capably and calmly after the Celtics won the championship Tuesday.

In his place on the main set, ESPN will use ABC’s lead game analysts, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, alongside returning analyst Jay Bilas and host Stuart Scott.

”We’re hopping on the great job Mark and Jeff have done through the playoffs and extend that through the draft,” said Dan Steir, ESPN’s senior coordinating producer for the draft.

I don’t know if Mark Jackson is really a better replacement, and I still question if NBA announcers know anything about College players, but I’ll take it if that means less Screamin’ A. The bad news obviously is that Tirico is replaced by Stuart Scott and as much as I want Mike Tirico to cover everything he just can’t. More information on the Draft, the epic Live-Blog (3rd Annual!) and a Mock Draft to come next week.

Other parties involved:
Chad Ford, Fran Fraschilla, Andy Katz, Ric Bucher, Dick Vitale , Doris Burke

ESPN picks substance over style for NBA Draft (Miami Herald)

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