As reported by Andrew Marchand for the New York Post, ESPN is looking to promote Doris Burke to become the first woman TV analyst for the NBA Finals, and wants to hire Doc Rivers to join her. Associated Press sources relayed the same info.
Jackson posted a statement Monday evening that opened, “This morning, unexpectedly, I was informed that my services were no longer needed at ESPN. Although shocked and dismayed with the suddenness of it all, I would like to thank ESPN and all the staff of the NBA ESPN crew for allowing me to be a part of the organization for the past 15+ years. … It has been an honor to sit beside two LEGENDS in the business, who are like brothers to me, Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy, and learn so much from them. Lisa Salters is a GOAT and like a sister to me and I'm so proud of the work she continues to do. … To all of the staff and crew, that may have never been seen on camera...please know that you were always seen by me and so greatly appreciated.”
He closed by wishing “greater measures of success to the new ESPN team” and saying he leaves “with nothing but gratitude.”
Read his full remarks below:
Jackson had two years left on his contract. He became a broadcast commentator for ESPN and ABC following his retirement as an NBA player in 2004. He briefly took a pivot into the world of coaching when he served as a coach for the Golden State Warriors between 2011 and 2014. He rejoined ESPN that same year and was most recently a commentator on the 2023 NBA Finals alongside Jeff Van Gundy and Jalen Rose.
Van Gundy and Rose were fired by ESPN last month amid a big round of layoffs.
The news of Rivers' potential hiring at ESPN comes after he was fired by the Philadelphia 76ers, where he did three seasons as head coach. The announcement of his firing came following the Sixers loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, eliminating them from the postseason despite their 3-2 lead at the time. In a statement, Rivers said he enjoyed his time with the team and thanked them for the opportunity "to lead, to learn, and to love [Philadelphia]."