Doc Rivers joins ESPN/ABC’s No. 1 broadcast team for NBA games

Doc Rivers calls out a play to the 76ers on the court during a playoff game in May.
Doc Rivers, who was fired as coach of the 76ers after last season, will be moving into the broadcast booth with ESPN, it was announced Monday.
(Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

In recent years, Doc Rivers often expressed his pride that in an industry that has no guarantee of longevity, he had begun every NBA season since 1999 as a head coach in the league.

That streak ended in May when Philadelphia fired Rivers after three seasons and teams with openings looked elsewhere for their hires. Yet when the 2023-24 season begins, Rivers will still be sitting on an NBA sideline — donning a headset, if no longer as a head coach.

ESPN on Monday announced that the former Clippers coach has joined the network on a “multiyear deal” and will work as part of its top game broadcast team, where Rivers will offer analysis alongside Doris Burke, play-by-play announcer Mike Breen and sideline reporter Lisa Salters.


The commentating team’s duties will include broadcasting the 2024 NBA Finals, playoff series including the Eastern Conference finals, a Christmas game and ABC’s prime-time Saturday games.

Burke and Breen both have been honored by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for their work as broadcasters, and Burke’s appointment will make her the first woman to work as a television analyst for a championship event, according to ESPN.

Her pairing with Rivers comes four years after Rivers took umbrage with “the Doris Burkes of the world complaining about guys’ load management” following her criticism of Kawhi Leonard, after the then-first-year Clippers wing sat out several nationally televised games during the 2019-20 season.

Coach Tyronn Lue, an assistant with Team USA this summer, said Monday that the Clippers need to play harder to earn a top playoff seeding next season.

Aug. 8, 2023

Rivers, who has a career .590 winning percentage and 1,097 NBA wins — one behind Larry Brown for eighth all-time — has plenty of television experience. After his playing career ended he broadcast games for the San Antonio Spurs and Turner Sports in the 1990s, and later helped call the 2004 NBA Finals for ABC.