ESPN will replace Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson with Doc Rivers and Doris Burke alongside Mike Breen as their top NBA broadcast team after both were a part of ESPN’s latest round of layoffs. Fellow ESPN analyst J.J. Redick believes that NBA coverage for the upcoming season will be “weird” without either Jackson or Van Gundy.
The trio of Breen, Van Gundy, and Jackson have been the premier broadcast team for ESPN’s NBA coverage for the better part of the past two decades. They were together from 2006-2011, and again from 2014-2023.
This type of longevity and chemistry that the trio had built over the years will obviously be tough to replicate for Burke and Rivers. And Redick detailed as much in an interview with Front Office Sports on Wednesday.
“It’s going to be a little weird, for sure. I felt like Mark and Jeff and Mike is just such an iconic team. And they’ve been on the call for so many historic moments, at least historic moments in my generation. So It’s gonna be weird,” Redick told Front Office Sports.
Redick was actually among the candidates to join Mike Breen in the booth next season, so it is particularly interesting for him to say that things will feel weird without Jackson and Van Gundy at ESPN next season.
The 15-year NBA veteran turned NBA analyst had previously been used largely in a studio role upon joining ESPN in 2021, but tried his hand in the booth for 25 games last season.
He also expressed to Front Office Sports that he hopes to call more than that in the 2023-24 season, which he could certainly do in a larger role.
“I called 25 games last year, so that’s in my contract and ultimately probably where I want to spend the majority of my time,” Redick said. “But right now, I’m happy to do ‘First Take’ and call games.”