NBA Swing: The Incomparable Doris Burke

NBA Swing: The Incomparable Doris Burke

Doris Burke has experienced many firsts in her broadcasting career.

In my opinion, the most knowledgeable basketball mind in the world belongs to Burke. This woman’s hoops IQ is off the charts. If you haven’t had a chance to hear Doris talk about this great game, tune into ESPN Radio, and simply listen.

Covering the 2020 NBA Playoffs as a game analyst for both the conference finals and The Finals on ESPN radio, Burke’s incomparable expertise will take your breath away. Doris not only has a stellar knack for swelling some of the biggest basketball minds and fans around the globe with her hoops mastery, but she can also put her thoughts into layman’s terms for individuals who thirst to better understand the game.

Her unique gifts make her a basketball broadcasting legend.

Burke began her career in 1990 as a radio analyst for Providence College (her alma mater) women’s games. Later during the same year, Doris began working as an analyst for televised Big East women’s games. Fast forward to 1996, and Burke got her shot at working televised contests for Big East men’s hoops as well.

Dating back to 1991, Burke has been working for ESPN in some capacity. She’s been a part of The Worldwide Leader in Sports’ coverage of the WNBA, she was the primary radio and television voice of the WNBA’s New York Liberty for many years, and in 2003, Doris was named to ESPN’s top men’s basketball team working with the one and only Dick Vitale.

The same year (2003), Burke began working the baselines for the NBA’s coverage of ESPN on ABC.

Here’s to Firsts, Doris Burke

In 2000, Burke became the first woman commentator to work New York Knicks radio and TV broadcasts. Additionally, as aforementioned above, she’s the first female analyst to work Big East men’s games as well as be the primary commentator for a men’s college hoops conference package.


In 2009, the illustrious Doris Burke served as a baseline reporter for the NBA Finals on ABC Sports.

Fast-forwarding to October 2013 found Burke signing a multiyear contract to serve as an NBA commentator for ESPN. A month later on November 13th, Burke debuted on NBA Countdown (ESPN’s NBA pregame show) alongside analysts Avery Johnson and Jalen Rose.

In 2017, Doris Burke became a regular NBA game analyst for ESPN. In doing so, she became the first woman at the national level to be given a full regular-season gig.

After contracting and testing positive for COVID-19 on March 27, 2020, a fully-recovered Burke is still doing her thing. Now, one of Burke’s firsts finds her name etched in NBA lore, joining play-by-play announcer Marc Kestecher and fellow analyst Jon Barry at the onset of the conference finals. With the same role for the NBA Finals, Doris Burke becomes the first woman to serve as a game analyst on a network television or radio broadcast this deep into the postseason.

Congratulations, Doris.

Stephanie Druley (ESPN’s executive vice president of event and studio production) said, “Doris is a trailblazer who continues to re-imagine what is possible for women in broadcasting, and we know she’ll thrive in this history-making radio analyst role.”

Doris Burke is the most intelligent voice in basketball, period. If you don’t believe me, tune into ESPN Radio and listen to her continued coverage of the conference finals and NBA Finals. You’ll most definitely learn a thing or two.

Until next week, be smart, stay safe, and stay healthy.

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