ESPN NBA, College Hoop Commentators Switch It Up

For the first time in more than 23 years, Hall of Famer Dick Vitale will call an NBA game on ESPN when the network’s NBA and college-basketball commentators switch roles during a special basketball doubleheader on Wednesday Jan. 7. Mike Tirico and analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy will call Davidson at Duke at 7 p.m. ET, followed by Dan Shulman and Vitale (in his 30th year with ESPN) providing commentary when the Denver Nuggets host the Miami Heat at 9 p.m. (both games on ESPN).

Vitale, who last called an NBA game on ESPN in 1984, says, “It’s been over two decades since I’ve worked an NBA game, but basketball is basketball at all levels, and a free throw is still worth a point. Seeing such talented players as Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony — two players who have gone from Diaper Dandies to Rolls Royce superstars — will bring back so many memories of their incredible performances as college standouts.”

Jackson, a standout at St. John’s University in the mid 1980s, says: “I’m a fan of basketball at all levels. As a former college player, I’ve always enjoyed watching Dick Vitale and the energy and passion he has for the game. I can’t wait to step inside Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time, because the energy inside that place is going to be unbelievable.”

Van Gundy, an assistant coach at Providence College and Rutgers University in the late 1980s, says, “I’ve never been to Cameron Indoor Stadium, and I can’t wait to see the atmosphere in person. From an X’s and O’s standpoint, I’m looking forward to see how Duke defends Stephen Curry.”