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“She’s the LeBron James of sportscasters” — when Jeff Van Gundy raved about Doris Burke

Undeniably, Doris Burke defied the norms in the world of sportscasting.
ESPN broadcasters Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke

Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke

It’s not every day that we see a woman excel in a competitive man’s world such as the NBA. That makes tenured basketball analyst and commentator Doris Burke special.

Longtime hoops fans know Burke has been all over the sport, be it the NBA, WNBA, or college basketball. You name it, Burke is there to provide exemplary analysis and commentary.

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NBA head coach-turned-commentator Jeff Van Gundy is among the many who have witnessed how exceptional Burke is in her craft. Van Gundy said he had known Burke for over thirty-some years, and he could outright affirm that she has reached a level of success and respect many thought a woman wouldn’t be able to accomplish in an industry dominated by men.

In an attempt to further describe Burke’s illustrious career in sportscasting, the former New York Knicks coach made a bold yet justifiable comparison. For Van Gundy, Burke is the counterpart of LeBron James in her line of work.

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She’s the best, most-versatile analyst and commentator at ESPN,” Van Gundy said of Burke in 2017 via Deadspin. “She does it all—great interviewer, commentator, studio analyst—everything. And she is an expert at it all—women’s and men’s college basketball, the NBA and the WNBA. She’s the LeBron James of sportscasters. There’s no better broadcaster out there right now.

Doris is unfazed

Indeed, Van Gundy was right about likening Burke to James. Like LeBron, Doris’s longevity is incredible, having consistently delivered high-quality work since 1991. Of course, Burke also copped an array of accolades like James in the process, including the prestigious Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award and the 2017 WISE Women of the Year Award.

For sure, some may be wondering how Burke was able to maintain such a remarkable level of excellence in her job. According to the woman herself, it’s just a matter of being unfazed regardless of the pressure.

Had I considered over the course of time the moments where maybe I was the first woman to do this or that, it would have scared the absolute daylights out of me,” Burke said of her career in 2020 via USA Today. “And the pressure probably would have been more weighty than I would have wanted…And so I think sort of keeping my focus narrow has been especially good for me.

As it stands, Burke has been delighting basketball fans with her impeccable work for more than three decades. Here's to the next three decades with her! 

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