HoopsHype Doris Burke rumors

December 1, 2013 Updates

Burke knows her basketball – from all sides, at all levels. And that's something that's been confirmed by one of the best basketball minds in the NBA, Gregg Popovich. The famously stern and taciturn San Antonio Spurs coach once prefaced an answer to Burke's question from her sideline reporter position by saying, "Doris, you're a basketball person, you'll get this." "I have been incredibly thankful to the players and the coaches who have sort of welcomed me with opened arms and treated me as nothing other than a member of the announce team," Burke said in a recent telephone interview. Cleveland Plain Dealer

October 10, 2013 Updates

Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson said Thursday he is leaving his job as an NBA analyst for ESPN. Veteran broadcaster Doris Burke will join NBA Countdown in a different capacity, ESPN announced. "I don't feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role," Johnson said in a news release. USA Today Sports

Johnson's agent, Lon Rosen, refuted a Deadspin report that said Johnson abruptly left the show because of colleague Bill Simmons' growing influence over the show and Michael Wilbon's diminished role in NBA coverage, which included Doug Collins replacing Wilbon on NBA Countdown. "Magic and Bill Simmons got to be very close and continue to be close," Rosen told USA TODAY Sports. "Bill Simmons and Earvin Johnson are friends. Earvin's close to Bill. We called Bill before the release went out. Bill has been to parties at Earvin's house. He's been to Dodgers game with Bill. He likes Bill a lot." USA Today Sports

In an e-mail to USA TODAY Sports, Simmons wrote, "I loved getting to know Magic these past 12 months and was saddened to hear about his decision. We genuinely liked working with one another. Last night Lon Rosen and I were already talking about other possible projects that Magic and I could do together down the road. He's my friend. And a GREAT guy." Simmons tweeted, "My first experience today with someone writing a "sources" report about me that's not true. Part amusing, part horrifying." USA Today Sports

Doris Burke informally carries the title of Ms. Basketball at ESPN because of her many NBA and college basketball assignments. Now, the well-respected sports broadcaster has landed another basketball gig and it might be her most high profile yet: She's joining NBA Countdown as a studio analyst. SI.com has learned that Burke will appear on the ESPN NBA pregame show on Wednesdays during the regular season. That makes Burke the first woman to serve as a regularly-appearing analyst for a national NBA studio show. (Her ESPN colleague Hannah Storm hosted NBC's NBA pregame show from 1997-2002.) Burke will make her NBA Countdown debut on Nov. 13. Her new assignment, which she said will likely total 11 Wednesdays, is timed with her signing a multiyear contract extension with ESPN. SI.com

June 6, 2013 Updates

"There is absolutely a level of anxiety each time I have to do an end-of-quarter interview with Pop," says Burke, who will be covering both Miami and San Antonio as a sideline reporter during ABC's NBA Finals broadcasts. "My one thought: Don't make him angry." ESPN.com

June 5, 2013 Updates

Doris Burke: There’s no coach in the league, including Phil Jackson when he was in the league, where I feel more angst for the (in-game interview) than Gregg Popovich. Do I go into the finals with the idea in the back of my head that seven more times at the end of the quarter I have to interview him? You bet you I do. There’s no question about it. I try very hard not to take his reactions personally. I’ll be honest with you. It is not easy. Sherman Report

Doris Burke: The worst was the first time I had to interview him for his in-game interview. Keep in mind, I have great admiration for him. Instead of just asking him a simple question, I tried to be smart. In doing so, I think the final line, the lead-in to my question was, “What was the problem with your defense?” Well, he crossed his arms, he got the scariest smile on his face I’ve ever seen, his face got a little red. I really do not have any recollection what he said. When I went back to my seat, the producer came in my ear and said, ‘Doris, do you mind if we don’t run it?’ I said, ‘Thank you for not humiliating me.’ It literally was that bad. Sherman Report

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