JJ Redick, the legendary Duke basketball player and celebrated NBA media personality, will be joining Mike Breen and Doris Burke in the ABC/ESPN NBA Finals booth.
It’s official: JJ Redick is joining the NBA Finals broadcast team alongside Mike Breen and Doris Burke this season. Per The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand, Redick will take over the seat once occupied by Doc Rivers. Rivers signed a three-year contract at the beginning of the season to be one of ESPN’s lead NBA color commentators alongside Burke before he departed the broadcast booth to become the new coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. ESPN has declined comment on Redick joining the NBA Finals broadcast.
Marchand reported on the rumors of Redick joining the lead broadcast team last week in a report via the Athletic.
“JJ Redick has emerged as the leading candidate to join Mike Breen and Doris Burke on ABC/ESPN’s NBA Finals broadcast, sources briefed on the network’s plans told The Athletic. The potential move comes amidst the upheaval in the ESPN NBA booth that began with the firings of longtime lead analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson during the company’s layoffs last summer…This has opened the door for Redick, 39, to take another step in what has been a meteoric rise in sports media that began even before he retired from playing,” he said in his initial report.
Redick has had a meteoric rise to prominence in NBA media since his retirement from basketball in 2021. He is the host of the popular NBA-focused podcast The Old Man & The Three. He’s also a regular debater on ESPN’s First Take opposite Stephen A. Smith during the basketball season.
Upon joining ESPN, he became a color commentator and occasional studio analyst on their NBA coverage, covering 25 games last season. Prior to the start of the 2023-2024 season, Redick was promoted to ESPN’s number two broadcasting team alongside play-by-play announcer Ryan Rucco and Richard Jefferson. Dave Roberts, the Head of Event & Studio Production at ESPN, heralded them as the possible lead commentators in the future.
“The one thing you have to do in this business is always have succession planning. In that team, you have the potential making of a succession plan”, Roberts said in August. “It might be 10 years away, but at the end of the day, the NBA, based on the product, whether it’s in the in-season tournament, games on Saturday night on ABC or whatever – the play-in, the extended playoffs – I think it’s important there is a clear No. 2 team.”
Per Marchand, it’s currently unclear if Redick will join the main commentary team on a regular basis or stay with Rucco and Jefferson on the number two commentary team but this is a monumental step forward in Redick’s young sports broadcasting career.