Behind the Mic: Mark Jackson Returns to ESPN, Steve Kerr Will Finish NBA Playoffs for TNT

After being let go by the Golden State Warriors earlier this month, NBA veteran Mark Jackson has reached a multi-year agreement with ESPN to return to the network and serve as an NBA game analyst. Jackson rejoined his former booth-mates – play-by-play commentator Mike Breen and analyst Jeff Van Gundy – for Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals on ABC on May 18. The three-person booth, with reporter Doris Burke, will call the entire Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals. Jackson previously served as an ESPN NBA game analyst from 2006 to 2011 where he teamed with Breen and Van Gundy to call the NBA Finals five seasons in a row. Jackson was the head coach of the Golden State Warriors for three seasons from 2011-2014.  He ranks fourth all-time in assists, amassing 10,334 during his 17 NBA seasons.

…Meanwhile, the man who will replace Jackson as Warriors coach, Steve Kerr is expected to work on TNT broadcasts through the remainder of its postseason coverage, which concludes after the Western Conference Finals. Aside from working alongside Marv Albert on TNT’s “A” broadcast team, Kerr also worked the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for Turner/CBS…

…James Brown, Bill Cowher and Deion Sanders have been chosen to host the on-site pregame show for the new Thursday Night Football package on CBS and the NFL Network this fall. The Brown-Cowher-Sanders trio will appear on both CBS and the NFL Network from 7:30 p.m. ET leading up to the kickoff of Thursday Night Football this season…

Pardon the Interruption co-hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon have signed new multi-year extensions to remain with ESPN. The duo will continue to host PTI together and contribute to other ESPN platforms. Kornheiser and Wilbon have co-hosted PTI since its debut on October 17, 2001. Kornheiser, who helped launch ESPN’s Monday Night Football as a booth commentator from 2006-08, will continue on PTI and contribute to SportsCenter. The Tony Kornheiser Show will also continue to be available via ESPN Audio platforms. Wilbon, who expanded his ESPN role in 2011, will continue to be seen and heard across a variety of platforms, particularly on ESPN’s NBA coverage with key interviews and features and as a contributor to on-site coverage of the NBA Conference Finals and NBA Finals. Wilbon will also write regular columns for and, and he will appear on other shows and platforms, including SportsCenter and ESPN Radio…

…MLB Network has told the Daily News that analyst Mitch Williams is taking a leave of absence from the network, after he reportedly was ejected from youth baseball tournament last weekend in Maryland and had ordered the beaning of an opposing player…

…Former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz told 24/7 Sports that he think this year will be his last on television. The college football analyst has worked at ESPN for nine years and planned to retire at the end of most of those…

…Allen Bestwick will become the 10th person to call the Indianapolis 500 on ABC when he makes his debut this Sunday. Bestwick had been part of ESPN’s NASCAR coverage since 2007. Joining Bestwick in the broadcast booth will be analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever, both former Indy 500 competitors. ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak will host the telecast from the Speedway’s iconic Pagoda while pit reporters will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch…

…Veteran NFL reporter Jim Trotter has joined ESPN. His multi-platform role includes television appearances on Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Insiders, SportsCenter and other programs, as well as writing for and ESPN The Magazine. On NFL Insiders, Trotter will appear on the show alongside former front office executives and other industry-leading pro football reporters like Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen. During the NFL season, Trotter will contribute features and reports for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show. His work on ESPN’s digital and magazine platforms will include both short and long-format pieces. Trotter previously worked at Sports Illustrated for six and half years as a senior writer (2007-14) and prior to that spent nearly 18 years at the San Diego Union-Tribune

…Award-winning journalist Mina Kimes has joined ESPN The Magazine as a columnist and senior writer as of May 1. Kimes, who comes to ESPN from Bloomberg News as a features reporter covering investigative and business-related stories, will be working as a columnist, covering a wide variety of sports topics and a senior writer, penning features, both investigative and narrative. Prior to joining Bloomberg in 2013, Kimes served five years as a writer for Fortune magazine.

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