Doris Burke was the first woman to serve as an analyst for a New York Knicks game, the first women to serve as an analyst for a Big East basketball game and the first woman to serve as a regular analyst for a network’s college basketball package.
Now, according to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, she will become the first woman to serve as a regular analyst for a national NBA package. Deitsch reported Monday that ESPN will soon announce Burke’s promotion to a regular game analyst role.
Burke, who has filled in as a color commentator in recent seasons while mainly working the sidelines on ESPN’s NBA games, will replace Doug Collins in the booth, after Collins took a front-office job with the Chicago Bulls. She told SI that she will retain her sideline reporter gig for the NBA Conference Finals and Finals.
Per SI, here’s what Burke had to say about her promotion:
“The NBA, and more importantly, the entire sport of basketball, has always been an inclusive environment,” Burke said. “To me, whether we are talking about the players, coaches, team management or anyone involved with the sport, it is about your game so to speak. Do you have the work habits and skills to be successful? I believe if the players and coaches respect my viewpoint of the game, then fans will as well. And full credit there goes to the NBA and to ESPN. They are willing to put people like me in a position to do this. It’s pretty cool to have a greater role and the chance to continue to cover a sport that I love with the best players and coaches in the world.”