ESPN On-Air Bloodletting Begins: Jalen Rose, Jeff Van Gundy Out; Max Kellerman, Keyshawn Johnson Gone Too

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ESPN is not holding back after news came down today that longtime NBA analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Jalen Rose have been let go.

The moves, first reported by the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, are part of the company’s cost-cutting initiatives. They are the first high-profile names of what is expected to be upwards of 20 on-air personalities let go as the network tries to figure out their future direction.

Marchand reports that Van Gundy’s contract was not up, however his salary was in the millions of dollars. Still, fans across social media were shocked by the news after becoming accustomed to hearing Van Gundy and Mike Breen as ESPN’s main NBA broadcast team for 16 years. The former Knicks and Rockets head coach joined the network after the 2006-07 season. Former Warriors head coach Mark Jackson eventually joined the ESPN broadcast booth too.

According to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic, Van Gundy only found out about ESPN’s decision this morning.

Jalen Rose Also Gone From ESPN

In a perhaps more shocking move based on the network’s political leanings, Jalen Rose was also fired this morning. The NBA Countdown and former host of the failed Jalen & Jacoby show was known for such “hot takes” like saying Mt. Rushmore is racist. This past April, Rose also insinuated that Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson was also racist because he won championships “on the backs” of “black athletes.”

It’s unclear if Rose knew he was being let go. He had been a poster child for the network’s woke coverage since joining the network over a decade ago.

The layoffs come just a week after ESPN Radio cancelled the Keyshawn, J-Will & Max Show. Both Keyshawn Johnson and Max Kellerman were let go today as well.

“Given the current environment, ESPN has determined it necessary to identify some additional cost savings in the area of public-facing commentator salaries, and that process has begun,” ESPN said in a statement. to Front Office Sports.

“This exercise will include a small group of job cuts in the short-term and an ongoing focus on managing costs when we negotiate individual contract renewals in the months ahead. This is an extremely challenging process, involving individuals who have had tremendous impact on our company. These difficult decisions, based more on overall efficiency than merit, will help us meet our financial targets and ensure future growth,” the statement continued.

Do these firings mean a new direction for the network? I wouldn’t hold my breath. You can be sure there will be some outcry however after the network recently signed Pat McAfee to an $85 million deal over five years, while Stephen A. Smith makes a reported $8 million per year.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.


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  1. I think ESPN is definitely trying to course correct. 8 years too late, but they’re trying. I hear rumors Jon Anik and Ray Longo may be getting their own weekly show, which would be amazing.

    Around the Horn has to go. PTI as well. I used to love watching both of those shows. I haven’t watched any ESPN sports opinion shows since SVP and Rusillo ended in 16’.

    Hopefully they cancel everything they currently air, and completely revamp to sports and light entertainment. We watch these programs to get away from news and politics and the stress of everyday life. We want to laugh and be entertained, not lectured.

  2. Rose will claim racism even though White guys got canned as well. The network probably wanted to hold onto Van Gundy and get rid of more black non talents they employ but we’re afraid.

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