Former Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers has found a new job after being relieved of duty. Rivers will be reportedly returning to television to be an analyst on ESPN/ABC. According to the New York Post, ESPN is close to hiring Rivers to join their “A” team of play-by-play legend Mike Breen and newly promoted Doris Burke.
This crew will announce the NBA Finals and key matchups throughout the season. The worldwide leader is making this move after breaking up the long-time crew of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, who was laid off weeks ago, and Mark Jackson, who was let go earlier today.
Rivers has worked with ESPN/ABC in the past, most recently in 2004, between his time with the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics head coaching jobs. He has called NBA games, including the playoffs and the NBA Finals with then lead play-by-play announcer Al Michaels. A few of Rivers’ famous calls for ESPN include his reaction to Derek Fisher’s game winner against the San Antonio Spurs with 0.4 left on the clock and his call during Tayshaun Prince’s block of Reggie Miller in the Eastern Conference finals.
Before his time with ESPN, Rivers had experience calling games as an NBA analyst for TNT/TBS after he retired in 1996. He was teamed up with the legendary Verne Lundquist and was highly regarded for his knowledge of the game during broadcasts before being hired as a coach in 1999 by the Orlando Magic.
The new big three of Breen, Rivers, and Burke is on the horizon and could take some viewers a while to get used to. Rivers is knowledgeable and could provide some great X’s and O’s content for ESPN’s broadcast. Some Sixers fans won’t like to hear Rivers, especially on games in which the 76ers are playing. Ultimately, it’s a great move for River and ESPN, but the real question is will he get a standing ovation when he returns to the Wells Fargo Center to call a game? We shall see.