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Who are the commentators for this years’ NBA Finals?

The NBA Finals are being broadcast by ABC and ESPN with MIke Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy on the mic but the trio has yet to call a game together.

The NBA Finals are being broadcast by ABC and ESPN with MIke Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy on the mic but the trio has yet to call a game together.
Thearon W. HendersonAFP

The NBA Finals are headed east with the series tied at 1-1 and both teams at full strength going into Game 3. The one team that hasn’t been at full strength is the television broadcast team bringing us the championship series.

Breen missed first two games of Finals

Mike Breen, Jeff van Gundy and Mark Jackson have been the gold standard, the A-Team for ESPN and ABC for the last decade and were the shoe-ins to bring us the title series once ABC landed the broadcasting rights.

Unfortunately for ABC, their commentary team and basketball fans around the country the trio has yet to commentate a Finals game together until now. Covid forced Breen and the former coach Jeff Van Gundy to miss Game 1. While van Gundy came back for Game 2, Breen was forced to sit it out.

Mike Breen, who has missed three straight games going back to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, is a 30 year man on the mic. He started broadcasting NBA and WNBA games in the early 90′s, with his first steady gig coming with WFAN radio calling Knicks games. In 2006 ABC picked up Breen and signed him as their main basketball play-by-play man. He works double duty now, while not calling games for ESPN or ABC he is the Knicks commentator for MSG Network in New York.

Van Gundy and Jackson a couple of NY boys

Van Gundy comes from a basketball lineage from upstate New York. His dad was a college coach, and his brother coached the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and the New Orleans Pelicans. His first coaching gig came in 1985 at McQuaid Jesuit HS. A year later the Nazareth College graduate got an assistant job at Providence. His first NBA job came in 1989 when he got signed by New York as an assistant. Seven years later he replaced Don Nelson as the head coach of the Knicks and stayed there until 2001. After a four year stint in Houston he was signed by ESPN to be a color commentator.

Mark Jackson is another New York kid. He grew up in Brooklyn and was one of the nations top point guards coming out of high school. He went to St. Johns for four years, and was then drafted by his hometown team, the New York Knicks. He made deep playoff runs with Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers later in his 16 year playing career that saw him win Rookie of the Year in 1988 and named to the All-Star Game the next year. After three years as head coach of the Golden State Warriors he joined the YES Network calling New Jersey Nets Games and ABC. In 2008 Jackson signed on exclusively with ABC.

Mark Jones has been calling the games in Mike Breen’s stead. Breen’s status for Game 3 is uncertain, but Jackson and Van Gundy are expected to be on the mic for tip off on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.


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