Magic Johnson announced on Thursday that he’s leaving ESPN’s NBA Countdown show, a surprising change just weeks before the start of the NBA season.
In a news release Johnson said: “I don’t feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role.”
It’s the latest change in a basketball studio show, as ESPN announced recently that that Michael Wilbon will be replaced in the studio by Doug Collins. A year ago Bill Simmons and and Jalen Rose joined the studio show, replacing Jon Barry and Chris Broussard.
As Johnson leaves, ESPN announced that veteran broadcaster Doris Burke will be joining the studio team and there’s speculation that she’ll assume the position as host.
Deadspin reported today that Johnson left ESPN because he was unhappy with both Wilbon’s departure and the increased power that Simmons has on the show.