ESPN’s firing spree continues, shockingly, not even the big guns are being spared. The network did the unthinkable and laid off Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and many other top sports commentators over the past few weeks. Mark Jackson just announced his exit from ESPN after he was kicked out a few days ago, and his colleague Mike Breen is disappointed.
According to 62-year-old Breen, he wanted his bond with his now-sacked colleagues to last forever, and he didn’t think it would have ended soon. While Breen is working out his disappointment, ESPN has already replaced Van and Jackson with Doris Burke and Doc Rivers, who will join Breen on the show next season. Breen appears to be going nowhere.
Mark Jackson, the former New York Knicks player, has officially announced his departure from ESPN/ABC’s coverage of the biggest NBA games. Jackson, who is 58 years old, had been a key member of the network’s top broadcasting team, working alongside play-by-play commentator Mike Breen and fellow analyst Jeff Van Gundy.
So what does Mike Breen think about the top grouping overhaul?
Unfortunately, Van Gundy was also released during ESPN’s recent round of layoffs.
Mike Breen shared his reaction with the New York Post:
“It’s sad because we really thought we had something special and that’s going to be the thought going forward is that we were able to do it a lot longer than anybody ever did,” Breen told The Post. “It’s something we’ll all treasure, but we just wish it was a little bit longer.
“You don’t expect it, because it was such a great team and to have it completely broken up was a surprise.”
Breen will continue as the play-by-play announcer, while renowned ESPN analyst Doris Burke and former Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers will step in to fill the positions previously held by Jackson and Van Gundy.
While ESPN likes ditching employees as and when they deem fit, they have a record of going back for satisfied workers after they succeed somewhere else. So Van and Jackson might come back to meet Breen at the network.