Why are JJ Redick, Doris Burke calling 2024 NBA Finals? Explaining ABC’s switch from Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson

Coverage of the NBA Finals will look — and sound — a bit different in 2024.

The 2024 NBA Finals will be the first year ABC’s No. 1 crew will feature play-by-play announcer Mike Breen alongside analysts JJ Redick and Doris Burke. Breen worked alongside analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for 10 straight NBA Finals series between 2014-23.

Based on storylines alone, the Finals series between the Celtics and Mavericks will not disappoint. Redick and Burke have an opportunity to add legendary calls to enhance the on-court product.

Where are Van Gundy and Jackson? Here’s what led to the new voices on the broadcasts for this year’s Finals.

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Where are Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson? 

Van Gundy and Mark Jackson are not calling the NBA Finals because they were laid off by ESPN in 2023.

In July 2023, Jackson revealed he was told “my services were no longer needed at ESPN,” adding that he was “shocked and dismayed” by the suddenness of the unexpected decision.

Jackson and Van Gundy were among a large group of ESPN personalities laid off to save millions of dollars to provide financial relief for its parent company, Disney.

Van Gundy confirmed the news to The Athletic but did not offer any further comment. The NBA was not pleased with Van Gundy’s criticism of its officiating, according to The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand.

Marchand added that the league reportedly complained about Van Gundy’s tendencies but did not call for him to lose his job.

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In the aftermath of the layoff, Jackson has returned to the media by launching a podcast titled “The Mark Jackson Show,” which he hosts alongside his son, Mark Jackson Jr.

While he won’t be on the call, Van Gundy will still be close to the Finals, as the Celtics hired him as a senior basketball operations consultant in October 2023. Van Gundy has been present at select Celtics games and could be on hand for the Finals.

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Why JJ Redick and Doris Burke are analysts for 2024 NBA Finals

After Van Gundy and Jackson were laid off, it was announced that Doc Rivers and Burke would join Breen as part of ESPN’s No. 1 NBA crew. When Rivers was hired as the Bucks head coach, Redick was promoted to the top broadcast crew.

The Finals are not new territory for Burke, who has provided color commentary on national radio broadcasts of the Finals and was a sideline reporter for television broadcasts of the Finals from 2009-19.

Redick is a Finals first-timer, immediately taking over as an ESPN analyst upon retiring from the NBA in 2021. He continues his astronomical leap within the media space by calling the 2024 NBA Finals.

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