ESPN has a new NBA analyst, and it’s an active player.
On Monday, the company announced that New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum would be joining as a multi-platform NBA analyst.
Per a release, McCollum will make his debut on Thursday, June 2nd during an alternate broadcast of Game 1 of the NBA Finals (more details on this will be announced tomorrow).
“It is my honor to be joining the ESPN family in this new role and I am excited to bring what I feel is my unique perspective, based on my vast knowledge of the game that I’ve gained during my nine years as a player in the NBA,” said McCollum. “To have an opportunity to put my journalism background to use on the largest stage with the many talented professionals at ESPN is a dream come true.”
McCollum will appear on the standard suite of ESPN studio programming (NBA Countdown, NBA Today, SportsCenter, Get Up, First Take, etc), and will also host a new podcast for the company. Additionally, McCollum will work as a game analyst during the Summer League.
This seems similar to Draymond Green’s deal with Turner, which includes regular appearances on Inside the NBA and “additional content initiatives.” Green also has a podcast with Colin Cowherd’s The Volume podcast network.
I feel like in the coming months and years, we’re going to see more athletes strike deals like this with media companies. I think we’ll also see more of the “pre-retirement” deals, like those signed by Tom Brady and Greg Olsen with Fox, when players that may be coveted analysts are reaching the end of the line.