A Farewell to One of the Best Broadcast Trio’s (and Meme Formats) of All-Time – ESPN Fires Mark Jackson

ESPN continues their trend of firing on-air talent and implementing their succession plan. After it was announced Doris Burke was in line to replace Mark Jackson in the NBA Finals broadcast booth, Jackson tweeted out that not only was he removed from the broadcast, but he was fired from ESPN.

Another long time and beloved employee let go; thus ending one of the best broadcast trios to ever sit court side. With the departure of Jeff Van Gundy last month, only Mike Breen is left standing. The trio called 15 NBA Finals together.

Mike Breen, per a statement to The New York Post:

“It’s sad because we really thought we had something special and … 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.”

ESPN’s plan is pretty out in the open: they fired JVG and Jackson, and will be replacing them by promoting Doris Burke and hiring Doc Rivers. Of course, you have morons like Jason Whitlock saying Doris Burke is “unqualified,” which is just laughably false. I am totally against the firings of JVG and Jackson, I would have preferred that didn’t happen, but what’s done is done, so I’m happy for Doris Burke for a much deserved promotion.

Doc Rivers, on the other hand, I’m skeptical on how he will be received by the audience and how he will fit in with Burke and Breen (who already have an established chemistry on-air). Plus, if his voice is horse the entire time we’re going to have a problem. Sadly, Burke and Rivers will have an uphill battle, because no matter what they do and say (and what the ratings are) they’ll always be compared to the previous booth of Breen, Jackson and Van Gundy.

I’d also like to take the time to remember one of the best meme formats to ever grace sports Twitter. Here are some highlights:

National treasures through and through. I’m not sure what’s next for JVG and Jackson. TNT and ESPN/ABC dominate the NBA, and all those roles are filled. Barring expiring contracts, I’m not sure there is a place for them to call basketball games right now, which is heartbreaking.

I wish them the best, and this year will certainly be an adjustment listening to the NBA on ESPN.

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