NBA Announcer Mark Jackson Confirms ESPN Exit: I Was Told My Services Were No Longer Needed
“Mama, there goes that man!”
That signature tagline will no longer be heard on ESPN’s NBA broadcasts as longtime announcer Mark Jackson joins the ranks of on air talent laid off of late by the network. Almost exactly a month ago, Jackson’s broadcast partner (and former coach) Jeff Van Gundy was among the 20-odd boldfaced names let go by the network. Since then, speculation has abounded about Jackson’s fate. The move came as a surprise to Jackson, however.
“This morning, unexpectedly, I was informed that my services were no longer needed at ESPN,” Jackson wrote on social media this evening. “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.”
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Jackson confirmed his departure with Peter Vecsey earlier today. Vescey reported that Jackson has two years left on his contract, which the network will have to pay out in order to bring former 76ers coach Doc Rivers and NBA broadcast veteran Doris Burke on as play-by-play announcer Mike Breen’s on-air cohorts.
Jackson, who played for seven teams (two of them twice) over his NBA career as well as coached the Golden State Warriors from 2011-2104, had worked NBA games for ESPN from 2006-11 and returned to the network the same season his coaching stint at Golden State ended.
Jackson was generally classy in his remarks about the departure, praising Van Gundy, Breen and sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
“It’s been an honor to sit beside two LEGENDS in the business who are like brothers to me, Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy… Lisa Salters is a GOAT and like a sister to me and I’m proud of the work she continues to do,” he wrote.
He also, without naming them, wished good things for his replacements.
“I wish greater measures of success to the new ESPN team. May they continue to elevate this game that has given me a home and a life.”
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