Mark Jackson: Nice To Criticize Refs Without Getting A Call From ESPN/NBA

Former NBA point guard, coach and analyst Mark Jackson is back talking about the league. No, not for ESPN, where spent countless seasons calling games alongside Jeff Van Gundy and play-by-play man Mike Breen.Mark Jackson

Instead, Jackson has his own podcast — and is enjoying the freedoms that come with it. For instance, he indicated how nice it was for him to criticize the officiating and not receive a call from someone, whether it be his former bosses at ESPN or those in the league office. Or perhaps the refs themselves.

So why did Jackson go the podcast route, his son asked on a recent episode?

“If you don’t know, I got fired! That’ll do it, that’ll make you make an adjustment and an audible real fast,” Jackson said, via Awful Announcing. 

“What also happened was two legends out of New York City, two guys from Harlem, you never know who you’re impacting, and when I got fired they took my firing personally and they basically had a vision and they proposed that vision to me, two guys by the name of Cam and Ma$e, who’s making a historic run with It Is What It Is changing the game of how we cover sports. I’m honored to call them partners and even more honored to call them friends and family.”

Jackson released a statement about his dismissal back in August.

“This morning, unexpectedly, I was informed that my services were no longer needed at ESPN,” he wrote on social media at the time. “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.”

Jackson and Van Gundy were replaced by Doc Rivers and Doris Burke, though as you know, Rivers has moved on to coach the Milwaukee Bucks. Jackson was considered a candidate for that job before the season. Who knows if going the podcast route is a full-time or long-term thing, but based on the first episode, it’s off to a great start.


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