JJ Redick has emerged as the leading candidate to join Mike Breen and Doris Burke on ABC/ESPN’s NBA Finals broadcast, sources briefed on the network’s plans told The Athletic.
The potential move comes amidst the upheaval in the ESPN NBA booth that began with the firings of longtime lead analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson during the company’s layoffs last summer.
ESPN proceeded to sign Doc Rivers to team with Breen and Burke. Rivers departed three months into a three-year contract to become the Bucks’ coach.
This has opened the door for Redick, 39, to take another step in what has been a meteoric rise in sports media that began even before he retired from playing.
As an active player, Redick started the podcast “The Old Man And The Three” which gained popularity. After he retired as a player in September 2021, he joined ESPN, where he quickly made headlines on Stephen A. Smith’s “First Take” and began analyzing games.
ESPN has not officially offered Redick the promotion. ESPN has also considered going with just a two-person team of Breen and Burke. The network hopes to have everything finalized relatively soon with an internal goal of around next weekend’s All-Star break.
The network declined comment.
When ESPN named Breen, Burke and Rivers its lead broadcast team before the season, the network’s top executive overseeing its NBA coverage, David Roberts, promoted Redick, Richard Jefferson and play-by-player, Ryan Ruocco, to its No. 2 team, which was a designation that ESPN had not publicly made in the past. Roberts said one day the group could call the finals. Now, Redick is on the verge of being called up this year.
In June, when Burke broadcasts the finals, she will make history as the first female analyst on a major United States sports championship. Burke is already in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as the Curt Gowdy Award winner in 2018. She had previously worked the finals as an analyst on ESPN Radio.
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