ESPN just announced via press release that it is shaking up the cast of “NBA Countdown.” Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose have been added to the show (if you’ve read the site, you knew that Monday night), and Chris Broussard and Jon Barry have been moved to “additional roles.”
Barry, according to ESPN, will “transition to game analysis with regular assignments throughout the season.” Broussard is moving to what sounds like a sideline reporter position (like for the Clippers/Lakers game Nov. 2).
This sets up an interesting battle between TNT’s “Inside the NBA” – with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaq (and not often enough, Chris Webber) and “NBA Countdown.” The two won’t go head-to-head, and nobody expects ESPN to close the gap anytime soon, but by April, I expect Countdown to become a reliably quality NBA show.
Would you have preferred Jalen Rose over Stan Van Gundy, the latter of whom had a handshake deal with ESPN until David Stern stepped in? I’ll be joining the conference call at 2:30 and (hopefully) asking Simmons about Jalen vs. Isiah Thomas.
Related: Will Bill Simmons, Stan Van Gundy, Magic Johnson and Mike Wilbon Work on NBA Countdown?
Related: Bill Simmons Being “Strongly Considered” as Addition to ESPN’s NBA Countdown
Related: Did David Stern Put the Kibosh on Stan Van Gundy Joining ESPN’s NBA Countdown? [UPDATE]
Related: Jalen Rose Might Be Replacing Hubert Davis on ESPN College Basketball Gameday (and Other ESPN Scuttlebutt)