Doris Burke Rumors
Kara Lawson will be the analyst for the majority of Wizards games, a job that seemed almost unimaginable when she first broke into television and there were virtually no prominent female television analysts covering men’s sports. That’s changed in recent years; Jessica Mendoza is finishing her second season as a full-time Sunday Night Baseball analyst, and Doris Burke this month became the first woman to get a full-time schedule as a national NBA game analyst.
In a career that has seen its share of trailblazing assignments, Doris Burke is about to add another first to her resume. This week ESPN will announce that Burke will become a regular ESPN NBA game analyst. She will serve as an analyst for ESPN regular-season NBA telecasts as well as the NBA playoffs, making her the first woman at the national level to be assigned a regular rotation of games as an NBA game analyst.
“When Doug Collins made the decision to leave the network and join the Chicago Bulls’ organization, it opened up an opportunity to be more involved in our coverage as a game analyst,” Burke said Monday. “To have an opportunity to be more involved with one of the most important properties at ESPN is an honor.”
She is so sure, so steady, and so knowledgeable during a broadcast that it’s hard to imagine a major basketball broadcast without her. As Jeff Van Gundy called her, she’s “the LeBron James of sportscasters.” That’s why it was huge news when she announced earlier this year that she was stepping away from the women’s game. This WNBA season has been the first one without her.
“I’ve known Doris for over thirty-some years,” Van Gundy told me. “She’s the best, most-versatile analyst and commentator at ESPN. She does it all—great interviewer, commentator, studio analyst—everything. And she is an expert at it all—women’s and men’s college basketball, the NBA and the WNBA. She’s the LeBron James of sportscasters. There’s no better broadcaster out there right now.”
Burke announced this spring that she is stepping away from the women’s game, both college and the WNBA. “That was an incredibly difficult decision for me. But I’m over 50, and I’m thinking I’d like a little more balance in my life. The other part of it is that I think I would be even better on the other two sports I cover—men’s college and the NBA—and frankly, somebody else deserves a shot in the women’s game. I’ve call the women’s NCAA Championship and been a part of women’s basketball for 17 years. Rebecca Lobo, Kara Lawson, LaChina Robinson—let them have a shot at it. They’ve earned the right. I’m a big believer in that there is enough room for all of us. And it is incredibly important for other women to lift the people up beside them. That’s part of the job.”