Oh Hell Yes, Doris Burke Is Finally Doing The NBA Analysis She Deserves
On Valentine’s Day in 1988, Leandra Reilly Lardner became the first woman to serve as a play-by-play commentator on an NBA game. It was a live telecast between the New Jersey Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers on SportsChannel, she recalled recently for the Chicago Tribune. It was a key moment—followed by decades more of broadcasts dominated by men.
Thirty years later, as the 2017 NBA season begins, Doris Burke will become the first woman to work the NBA circuit as a full-time national analyst, covering regular season games as well as the NBA playoffs. She also will keep her role as sideline reporter for the NBA Conference Finals and NBA Finals, and contribute to some college basketball telecasts on a limited basis. She’s scheduled to call her first game in her new role tomorrow.
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The news about Burke’s promotion passed quietly. The turmoil of every day in Trump’s America raged on: Puerto Rico was decimated by Hurricane Maria with little relief in sight, the president who should have been focused on Puerto Rico decided to attack NFL players instead,
and yet another NCAA scandal happened
. There was little space left to celebrate Burke’s achievement and rightfully give it the attention it deserved.