When Doc Rivers became head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks after the team fired Adrian Griffin (with Rivers maybe working back channels prior to the firing to work his way into the organization), ESPN suddenly needed to figure out new broadcast plans for the playoffs and NBA Finals.
Rivers had joined Doris Burke as the new lead analysts for ESPN’s top booth alongside Mike Breen after the network let Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson go during layoffs last summer. The new No. 2 booth was Ryan Ruocco, JJ Redick, and Richard Jefferson, and many felt Redick was the natural choice if they were to elevate anyone into Rivers role. The last month have featured internal conversations at ESPN regarding what to do, and on Monday word emerged from Andrew Marchand of The Athletic that it would in fact be Redick joining the Finals broadcast team.
JJ Redick will join Mike Breen and Doris Burke on ABC/ESPN’s NBA Finals broadcast team, sources briefed on the network’s decision told The Athletic.
One would think this would go into effect sooner than later, as they’ll want Breen, Burke, and Redick to get some reps together before they have to call the Finals together. Redick has been one of the fastest rising former players in the sports media space, as he’s quickly climbed the ranks at ESPN and become one of the most popular player podcasters with his Old Man and the Three show.
Marchand goes on to note that Redick’s elevation now creates another decision for ESPN brass with the No. 2 team, as they will either roll with Ruocco and Jefferson or potentially add Bob Myers as the third member of that broadcast booth. At minimum, Myers will call more games in the second half of the year as ESPN regularly splits up its top teams for weekday games to manage everyone’s schedule, but it’s possible he’s on the call alongside Jefferson and Ruocco in the conference semis this spring.