ESPN’s lead NBA broadcaster Mike Breen has been known to shout “Bang!” on the air when game-defining baskets are made. Viewers will be hearing “bang!” from Breen for at least the next six years, as the longtime broadcaster has reportedly agreed to a four-year, multi-million-dollar extension with ESPN.
According to the New York Post, Breen’s four-year extension is in addition to the final two years that he has left on his current contract with ESPN.
“I’ve said for years that it’s not only an honor to call these games but a tremendous responsibility,” Breen said. “I’m grateful I’ve been given this opportunity to call what I think is the greatest sport in the world. NBA basketball. I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to continue.”
Breen’s longtime broadcast partners at ESPN Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson were casualties of the July layoffs at the company, which were described at that time as “additional cost savings in the area of public-facing commentator salaries.” Breen is now paired with a new announcing team of Doris Burke and former NBA head coach Doc Rivers. Lisa Salters continues to serve as the broadcast’s sideline reporter.
In addition to calling marquee NBA matchups throughout the regular season, this revised team will also call the NBA Finals, Eastern Conference Finals, NBA Playoffs, Christmas Day, the NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC series, and the new NBA In-Season Tournament.
Next June, Burke will be the first woman to serve as a lead television analyst for the NBA Finals. She was previously an analyst for ESPN’s NBA game broadcasts, and before that, an NBA on ESPN sideline reporter, serving in that capacity for nine years.
Rivers has television experience as well. After his playing career ended, he provided color commentary for San Antonio Spurs games, for Turner Sports in the 1990s and later helped call the 2004 NBA Finals for ABC.