ESPN Reportedly Let Jeff Van Gundy Go As Part Of Company Layoffs

ESPN will be making some major changes to its NBA coverage next season, as their longtime lead booth of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, and Mark Jackson will no longer be together.

On Friday, word broke from Andrew Marchand of the New York Post that 20 on-air personalities were going to be part of this latest round of layoffs. Among those is reportedly Jeff Van Gundy, who will no longer be the network’s lead NBA analyst after being in that role for the last 16 years with the network. There are expected to be other big names among the layoffs, as this latest round was meant to trim those making near or above seven figures to limit the behind the scenes jobs that would get cut, per Marchand.

While Van Gundy’s propensity for on-air rants were grating to some viewers, he has always been one of the best at breaking down the X’s and O’s of the game as it is happening when calling an engaging game and not caught in a tangent. Losing that from the lead booth is a considerable loss, as is someone with the tenure and stature to call out the league when he sees fit, as Van Gundy regularly did.

As for replacements, Marchand notes Doris Burke, JJ Redick, and Richard Jefferson are all considered internal candidates to be bumped into the lead booth, with Burke having obvious rapport with Breen and Jackson having worked with that group as a sideline reporter for years. Doc Rivers is also floated as an external candidate to return to the broadcast booth, as his cost could be mitigated by the money still being paid out by his Sixers contract.