- NBA Countdown Led by Maria Taylor to Serve as NBA Finals and Eastern Conference Finals Pregame and Halftime Show
- ESPN Host and Journalist Rachel Nichols Expands Role to Become Sideline Reporter for the NBA Finals on ABC and Eastern Conference Finals on ESPN
ESPN today announced that Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame broadcaster Doris Burke will serve as game analyst for the NBA Finals on ESPN Radio this season. The pioneering commentator becomes the first woman to serve as a game analyst for the NBA Finals on any platform. She will provide radio commentary alongside play-by-play voice Marc Kestecher and analyst Jon Barry for the NBA Finals and both Conference Finals series on site at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – home of the NBA Playoffs.
Burke has broken barriers several times throughout her Hall of Fame broadcasting career, including in 2017 when she became the first woman to serve as a full-time NBA television game analyst on ESPN and ABC – a role she continues to hold. She was also the first woman to serve as a national college basketball game analyst on ESPN. Additionally, Burke was the first woman to receive the prestigious Curt Gowdy Media Award by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
NBA Countdown, hosted by Maria Taylor, will serve as the NBA Finals and Eastern Conference Finals pregame and halftime show. NBA Countdown will emanate from ESPN’s Seaport Studios in New York, N.Y. throughout the remainder of the postseason. Taylor’shigh-profile ESPN footprint includes roles as college football reporter and NCAA Women’s College Basketball Championship host. Taylor is joined on NBA Countdown by analysts Jalen Rose, Stephen A. Smith, Jay Williams and Paul Pierce as well as ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reporting from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Taylor begin hosting NBA Countdown on ESPN and ABC at the start of the 2019-20 NBA season. ESPN recently announced Smith had joined the NBA Countdown show.
ESPN host and journalist Rachel Nichols, who has hosted ESPN’s The Jump since 2016, will expand her role to become the sideline reporter for the NBA Finals on ABC and the Eastern Conference Finals on ESPN. Nichols will join the longest-tenured NBA Finals broadcast team of Mike Breen and analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson to call the action. The coveted role includes pregame, in-game and postgame interviews as well as hosting responsibilities for the NBA trophy presentation upon conclusion of the NBA Finals and Eastern Conference Finals. Nichols will continue to host daily editions of The Jump throughout the NBA Playoffs from the NBA Florida Campus. ESPN NBA analyst Richard Jefferson will regularly join Nichols on The Jump from site with ESPN NBA reporters Adrian Wojnarowski, Malika Andrews and Marc Spears also making on-site contributions to the show.
Connor Schell, ESPN executive vice president, content:
“We’re proud of the tremendous collective effort put forth by our NBA commentators and all of our ESPN personnel – in front of the camera and behind the scenes – who have played vital roles in bringing the NBA back at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The incredible depth of our coverage team and its diverse array of voices has been on full display. We’re looking forward to an exciting remainder of the NBA Playoffs as we continue to work closely with our friends at the NBA to finish the season strong.”