According to a tweet from Sports Illustrated writer Richard Deitsch, Magic Johnson will be leaving his role as an analyst for ESPN’s NBA Countdown. Filling his role will be longtime NBA and college basketball correspondent and analyst Doris Burke.
Breaking: @MagicJohnson is leaving ESPN.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) October 10, 2013
In comments made prior to the announcement, Burke spoke to her ability as a sideline reporter and how they corresponded with the then current cast of Countdown.
“When I am a sideline reporter, I ask good questions,” Burke said, according to a report from Deitsch. “I hope that doesn’t sound egotistical, but I think I can ask good questions to elicit good responses. That’s something I’m interested in on this show, asking Magic, Jalen and Avery smart questions to facilitate good discussions. If I feel strongly about something, I think I can also act appropriately by responding to things they say or presenting a different opinion if I have one.”
Magic Johnson — the NBA legend and Hall of Famer, and current partial owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers – I’m sure has his hands full at the moment following his baseball team in the National League Championship Series.
ESPN.com provided the following statement from Magic:
“I love ESPN. Unfortunately, due to the nature of my schedule and other commitments, I don’t feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role,” Johnson said in a statement. “I will always feel a strong connection to the ESPN family and I enjoyed working with them very much.”
As for Burke, we will see if her abilities translate to the Countdown studio soon enough.