The Undefeated, ESPN’s content initiative focusing on the intersections of sports, race and culture, has reached a multi-year contract extension with senior NBA writer Marc Spears to continue as the platform’s lead journalist covering the National Basketball Association.
Spears said: “I am thankful to be a part of the ESPN and The Undefeated family. This is truly a blessing and an amazing storytelling opportunity covering the NBA for both entities that I don’t take lightly.”
Spears, who joined The Undefeated in March 2016, regularly breaks NBA news and some of his most notable long-form work at The Undefeated includes, an examination of how black Utah Jazz players have embraced Salt Lake City, NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki on his interracial marriage, and a multimedia profile on how former NBA player Stephon Marbury found stardom in China. Spears also reported Marbury’s story for a SC Featured segment. During the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, Spears wrote a piece on Sonya Curry and how she turned her experiences with racism into lessons for her children, NBA stars Stephen and Seth.
During the 2016 NBA Playoffs, Spears authored an exclusive player diary series by the Warriors’ Draymond Green that captured his thoughts on and off the court as the Golden State forward and his teammates were chasing a second straight NBA title. Green’s 2016 NBA Playoffs diaries, including his NBA Finals Game 5 suspension, preceded the launch of The Undefeated and debuted on ESPN.com – a precursor to the unique content offerings on the platform. The series continued on The Undefeated after the platform launched on May 17.
In addition to his work with The Undefeated, Spears regularly contributes to other ESPN platforms, including the award-winning Outside the Lines and E:60, SportsCenter, SC Featured, The Jump, ESPN Radio programs and more.
“Marc is one of ESPN’s most valuable reporters, and indispensable to The Undefeated,” said Kevin Merida, Senior Vice President, ESPN, and Editor-in-Chief of The Undefeated. “The combination of his deep knowledge of the NBA and relationships with players has produced a countless number of original stories. Walking around with him at an NBA arena is like accompanying the mayor of a city.”
The 2018-19 campaign is Spears’ 20th season reporting on the NBA. In all, he has covered 17 NBA All-Star Games and 17 NBA Finals. Prior to The Undefeated, Spears worked for Yahoo! Sports (2009-16) as a national NBA reporter. He garnered national acclaim as an NBA Insider at Yahoo!, breaking numerous stories while covering the NBA, as well as USA Basketball.
Prior to Yahoo!, Spears covered the Boston Celtics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics for The Boston Globe (2007-09). He began covering the NBA as the Denver Nuggets beat writer for The Denver Post from 1999-2007. His earlier newspaper work includes stints at The Tulsa World (1995-97), Los Angeles Daily News (1997-98) and The Courier-Journal in Louisville (1998-99) where he covered college football and basketball and Major League Baseball.
Spears, a former chair of the National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) Sports Task Force, is a graduate of San Jose State University.
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