Thanks to his famous catchphrase, Mike Breen has become one of the most popular announcers in the NBA. Despite saying goodbye to several on-air talents last summer, he isn’t going anywhere.
On Monday afternoon, the New York Post reported that Mike Breen and ESPN have reached an agreement on an extension. His new contract adds another two years to his current contract. This was reported to be a multi-million dollar deal for Breen, but an exact number was not stated.
Breen was part of ESPN’s top announcer team for many years, alongside Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. Following their departure, he is now joined by longtime reporter Doris Burke and former NBA head coach Doc Rivers. Rivers made the transition back to broadcasting after parting ways with the Philadelphia 76ers at the end of last season.
The new main broadcast team is fresh off their debut. On October 25, Breen, Burke and Rivers played their first game together at Madison Square Garden when the Knicks took on the Boston Celtics.
Mike Breen’s contract with ESPN contains certain provisions
As one of the oldest announcers in the NBA, Mike Breen has earned to stay on board at ESPN on their top broadcast team. That said, there is one key stipulation regarding his new deal.
The report on his extension cited that this deal is dependent on what happens with the NBA’s broadcast rights. Their TV deals expire in the next few years, and if ESPN doesn’t retain its NBA rights, Breen’s deal could be voided.
Over the past twenty years, Breen has risen in the basketball broadcaster rankings. He has become iconic among fans for his famous catchphrase “bang!” when a player hits a big three. If ESPN and ABC retain the NBA broadcast rights, Breen has a chance to make the Finals for 20 years.
While ESPN has made sure to keep Breen around for the short term, they are also preparing for the future. At 62 years old, there’s no telling how many seasons Breen has left in him.
With retirement always an option, ESPN has made sure others are preparing to be Breen’s replacement when the time comes. Potential candidates to succeed him include former players JJ Redick and Richard Jefferson. They are currently part of ESPN’s second broadcast team for the season.