Jeff Van Gundy ‘AXED by ESPN after 16 years as its NBA analyst as part of around 20 on-air personalities let go to save millions of dollars’
- Jalen Rose is also out the door as ESPN lay off some staff to save money
- Doc Rivers is reportedly a surprise contender to replace Van Gundy
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
ESPN has axed Jeff Van Gundy as part of cost cutting measures, ending his 16-year tenure as its NBA analyst.
ESPN has confirmed it is making cuts today and according to The New York Post, the 61-year-old Van Gundy is one of the big names to depart. LaPhonso Ellis, Max Kellerman and Keyshawn Johnson are also believed to have left.
The Post, which says Jalen Rose will also leave, adds that Van Gundy’s salary was in the millions but the exact figure is unknown.
Suzy Kolber later revealed she too had been laid off. She wrote on Twitter: ‘Today I join the many hard-working colleagues who have been laid off.
‘Heartbreaking -but 27 years at ESPN was a good run. So grateful for a 38 yr career!
ESPN has axed NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy (center) as part of Friday’s cost cutting measures
Van Gundy departs ESPN after 16 years as a key part of their coverage of the NBA
Jalen Rose (right) is also believed to be leaving ESPN as news of Friday’s job cuts emerge
‘Longevity for a woman in this business is something I’m especially proud of. Next step- a project that gives back.’
In a statement provided to Front Office Sports on Friday morning, ESPN said: ‘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.
‘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.’
Before carving out a reputation as one of the finest NBA analysts around, Van Gundy had coached in the game.
He was an assistant at the New York Knicks for seven years from 1989 until 1996, when he took over as coach.
His five-year spell ended in 2001 and in 2003, he took over as coach of the Houston Rockets.
The post also says Doc Rivers is a contender to replace Van Gundy. Rivers was fired by the Philadelphia 76ers after defeat in the NBA playoffs to the Boston Celtics.
Rose, meanwhile, had been at ESPN for 15 years.