ESPN’s Mike Breen: Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy Were ‘Dream Partners’

When it comes to ESPN’s No. 1 NBA broadcast team, play-by-play man Mike Breen is the lone survivor of the offseason.Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy

That’s because color analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy have both been let go after 15 years in the role. As we relayed here, analyst Doris Burke and former coach Doc Rivers are expected to be their replacements.

“They were the dream partners,” Breen told Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. “All the accomplishments were because of what we did together. I really do feel personally any success I had was because I had those two guys next to me.

“They just provided everything you would want in analysts. They’re smart. They’re funny. They’re knowledgeable about their sport. They’re opinionated. They love their sport, but are not afraid to criticize. They just had a little bit of everything.”

It is not yet known what the future holds for Jackson and Van Gundy. Both have coached and very well could so so again. Both wanted to keep their broadcast jobs, per multiple reports and were stunned by ESPN’s decision to replace them.

“The other part of it is the personal part and that’s tougher,” Breen told Marchand. “Now, we’re going to be friends until the day we die. Those guys taught me so much about what I know about the NBA. I’ve learned more from those two than anybody. But they’ve also taught me about stuff that has nothing to do with basketball. I look up to both of them because not just their talents as broadcasters, but the kind of men they are. I just feel so privileged to have that time. 

“I’ve always said that I’m so honored to call the Finals every year, but what made it so special for me is I got to call it with those two and seeing it come to an end, it’s hard to come to grips with.”

Jackson released a statement about his dismissal on Monday.

“This morning, unexpectedly, I was informed that my services were no longer needed at ESPN,” he wrote on social media. “Although shocked and dismayed with the suddenness of it all, I would like to thank ESPN and all the staff of the NBA ESPN crew for allowing me to be a part of the organization for the past 15+ years.”

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!

Leave a Reply