ESPN has filled the Doc Rivers-shaped hole in its NBA Finals broadcast team.
Andrew Marchand of The Athletic reported that ESPN and sister network ABC, which broadcasts the finals, have tapped former player and rising star JJ Redick to replace Rivers, who left the network in January to become the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks after just three months on the job.
Redick will join analyst Doris Burke and play-by-play commentator Mike Breen to form ESPN's brand new NBA Finals broadcast team. They're replacing longtime duo Mike Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, who were fired last year as part of widespread company layoffs.
Redick, 39, has been involved in sports media since before he retired in 2021. He had a podcast, "The Old Man and the Three," when he was still a player, and the moment he retired he jumped into a media career like a kid cannonballing into a pool on the hottest day of the year. He appeared on "First Take," generating headlines on a show that already includes prolific headline-maker Stephen A. Smith. ESPN saw his talent and had him start calling games.
In Summer 2023, ESPN announced Redick was joining the network's No. 2 NBA broadcast team with Ryan Ruocco and Richard Jefferson. It seemed like Redick would eventually make his way to the No. 1 team with Burke and Breen, but no one thought it would be this soon. Then again, no one saw the Bucks firing Adrian Griffin in the middle of his first season and replacing him with Rivers, who himself had been fired by the Philadelphia 76ers at the end of last season.