In an industry where broadcasting booths tend to get turned over every few years, one of the few constants was ABC/ESPN’s top NBA team, consisting of announcer Mike Breen and analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. The key phrase in the sentence above is “was,” as the network has since moved on from Van Gundy, who was arguably the biggest name involved in ESPN’s latest round of layoffs. While rumors swirled about who would replace him, the conversation eventually shifted to speculation about Jackson’s future in the booth. That culminated in Jackson being let go at the end of last month in a decision that “shocked and dismayed” the analyst.
— Mark Jackson (@MarkJackson13) August 1, 2023
While Jackson’s statement outlined above shows the unexpectedness of the move, he has no ill will towards Rivers, a former NBA head coach himself. In fact, Jackson recently spoke with TMZ Sports and indicated that he’s not only has he spoken with Rivers, but there is no beef between the two.
“I wish Doc nothing but the best,” Jackson told TMZ Sports in an interview.
“He’s a Hall-of-Fame coach. A tremendous guy. And he’ll be great.”
As for Jackson’s next move, he said “It’ll be my best move.” He didn’t get into details, whether that will be in coaching or staying in the broadcasting industry, but told TMZ that he’s “excited for what God has for me.”