Doris Burke Rumors
James pushed himself so much in playing the first 35 minutes of Game 7 that he had to check himself out to go to the locker room for treatment with 1:00 left in the third quarter. “I just had a little minor injury that we had to take care of to get ready for the fourth quarter,” he said. James said team medical personnel suggested an IV during the quarter break, but he turned that down. ESPN’s Doris Burke, on the ABC broadcast, reported that James was experiencing cramping.
Yet despite the respect of her peers and her legions of fans, Ms. Burke gives off the vibe of someone who feels in a precarious position, ever conscious of the skepticism toward women in a male-dominated profession. And it is all coming to a head as a deadline looms. “My contract ends Oct. 31,” she told me at one point. “It’s very anxiety-producing.”
The fragility of a television career seems to periodically weigh on her. ESPN has yet to open serious discussions about renewing her contract after it expires this fall. Although this is not unusual for a broadcaster, Ms. Burke said that having a new job since her last contract, along with recent changes at the network, including the resignation of its president, John Skipper, had heightened her anxiety. (ESPN has a strong reputation for promoting female broadcasters, and executives have said they are extremely pleased with her performance.) While awaiting the start of the game in Philadelphia, she glanced down at her phone and saw that Mr. Durant had decided to restructure his deal with the Golden State Warriors. “Contract year,” Mr. Dean, her producer, said. “I know all about that,” Ms. Burke quipped.
She speculated that, in the same way that many women were able to have accomplished political careers when they succeeded their deceased husband in office, it would be easier for a woman to succeed as an analyst after many years in a supportive sideline role. “Some women are going to do better in the public imagination when they’re seen as having been devoted wives first,” she said.
Ryan Wolstat: Drake is here. Earlier in the day I interviewed Doris Burke (she was great). I had to ask at the end if she was hoping he’d be here: “I have to be honest with you, I’ve been so (busy) I hadn’t considered much beyond the game,” she said with a laugh.
“It’s a passion of mine to simply be able to be around the game,” said Clifton, who is in her sixth season on the Cavs’ broadcasts. Usually she serves as sideline reporter. “At this level, I don’t think I ever really thought about it, at the NBA level,” Clifton said. “But it’s something to see other women do it, Sarah Kustok, and Stephanie Ready, and Doris (Burke) of course. It just shows that the opportunity is there. So I think the chance for me to do it in a place I’m so familiar with, alongside someone like Fred. I’m excited about it.”