For over 15 years, NBA fans tuning into ESPN broadcasts have become accustomed to the iconic tagline, “Mama, there goes that man!” resonating through their screens whenever a player made an impressive play on the court. This signature catchphrase, delivered by longtime announcer Mark Jackson, has become synonymous with the excitement and passion of NBA games. However, with recent changes in the network’s on-air talent, the familiar voice of Mark Jackson will no longer grace ESPN’s NBA broadcasts.
The departure of Mark Jackson comes as part of a wave of layoffs that have affected several prominent figures in the sports broadcasting industry. Just a month ago, Jackson’s broadcast partner and former coach, Jeff Van Gundy, was among the list of 20-odd names let go by the network. The news of Jackson’s exit from ESPN came as a surprise to him, as he was informed unexpectedly that his services were no longer needed.
Taking to social media to share his thoughts on the matter, Jackson expressed gratitude to ESPN and the entire NBA ESPN crew for the opportunity to be a part of the organization for over 15 years. He thanked his colleagues, including Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy, who have been like brothers to him during his time on the broadcasts. The sideline reporter, Lisa Salters, also received praise from Jackson, who referred to her as a “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time) and a sister to him.
While the departure was unexpected, Mark Jackson displayed class and professionalism in his remarks, expressing well-wishes for his replacements. ESPN will bring former Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers and NBA broadcast veteran Doris Burke on board as play-by-play announcer Mike Breen’s on-air cohorts. It is worth noting that Jackson still had two years left on his contract, which the network will have to pay out to accommodate the new additions to the broadcasting team.
Throughout his broadcasting career, Mark Jackson brought an infectious energy and insight to NBA games. His passionate delivery and trademark catchphrases have become an integral part of the NBA viewing experience for fans. Jackson’s presence in the commentary booth alongside Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy has been a source of familiarity and comfort for basketball enthusiasts over the years.
As Mark Jackson embarks on a new chapter in his career, he leaves behind a lasting legacy in the world of NBA broadcasting. While fans will miss hearing his memorable catchphrase during games, they will forever remember the excitement and joy he brought to the broadcasts. His departure from ESPN serves as a reminder of the ever-changing landscape of sports broadcasting, with new faces and voices constantly entering the arena.
In closing his remarks, Mark Jackson expressed his hope for the continued success of the new ESPN team and the elevation of the game he holds dear. As he bids farewell to the NBA broadcasts, fans and colleagues alike will remember him not only for his catchphrases but also for the passion and enthusiasm he brought to every game he called. The future may be uncertain, but one thing is clear – Mark Jackson’s impact on the world of sports broadcasting will be felt for years to come.