Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose have been hired for ESPN's “NBA Countdown” studio show, joining holdovers Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Michael Wilbon. The new “Countdown” quartet, will debut at 6 p.m. Nov. 2, preceding ESPN's season-opening doubleheader: Miami at N.Y. Knicks at 8 p.m. and L.A. Clippers vs. L.A. Lakers at 10:30 p.m.
Jon Barry and Chris Broussard have left the show to take on new roles with the network. Barry will become a game analyst. Broussard will serve as a game reporter and continue to serve as ESPN NBA Insider for “SportsCenter.”
“The unique, diverse perspectives of our new commentator team fit perfectly with the show's free-flowing format,” said Mark Gross, ESPN senior vice president. “Bill brings a deep knowledge of the league past and present, an entertaining style and an ability to articulate his inventive thoughts from a fan's point of view. Jalen's lengthy playing experience and his strong, informed opinions will give fans great insight into how and why things happen on the court.”