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HomeSportsJeff Van Gundy reportedly out at ESPN as part of massive on-air...

Jeff Van Gundy reportedly out at ESPN as part of massive on-air layoffs

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Jeff Van Gundy, one of the all-time great NBA on-air game analysts, is reportedly out at ESPN as part of continuing layoffs that have hit every corner of the company.

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Van Gundy is one of approximately 20 on-air personalities that will be let go in an effort to save money. Van Gundy’s salary isn’t known, but the Post reported that he “made millions.”

Van Gundy, 61, was one-third of ESPN’s No. 1 broadcast team, providing analysis along with Mark Jackson while Mike Breen handled play-by-play duties. He’d been with ESPN for 16 years and is considered to be one of the best in his field.

This is just the latest round of layoffs to hit ESPN since February, when Bob Iger, CEO of ESPN’s parent company, Disney, announced a cut of 7,000 jobs across both ESPN and Disney in an effort to save $5.5 billion. Employees from every level of ESPN have been affected, from writers and editors to longtime executives, and now the cuts are hitting on-air talent.

Jeff Van Gundy is reportedly out at ESPN after 16 years as the network’s top NBA on-air analyst. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

According to Marchand, ESPN is cutting several personalities that make at least seven-figures a year in an effort to save some of the “behind-the-scenes” people. But if that’s the strategy, the company’s recent decision to sign radio personality Pat McAfee to a five-year, $85 million contract sticks out like a sore thumb.

Marchand reported that internal candidates to replace Van Gundy include former NBA players and current analysts J.J. Redick and Richard Jefferson, and analyst Doris Burke. If Van Gundy for some reason’t wasn’t available to call games, any of them would be decent replacements for him. But in this case, Van Gundy is available and ESPN is simply making the choice not to employ him in favor of someone who would cost less.

Will this stop people from watching the NBA Finals in the future? Probably not. But it will make it less enjoyable, which seems to be the end result of lots of changes these days.

Games without Van Gundy will simply be less fun. No matter who fills his shoes, there will be no replacing his humor, his insight and his genuine love of the game.

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