Mark Jones has been with ESPN since 1990, and his 32-year career with the network is going to continue. The broadcaster has agreed to a multi-year contract extension with ESPN, which was announced on Friday.
Jones is one of ESPN’s top play-by-play voices on the NBA and college football. He’s served in a variety of roles during his long career at the network, including anchoring NBA studio programming and SportsCenter, hosting NBA All-Star and NBA Draft coverage, and calling play-by-play on men’s and women’s college basketball, in addition to the WNBA.
“Mark Jones’s love for — and commitment to — the NBA and our presentation of the league is exceptional,” said Tim Corrigan, ESPN vice president of production, in a statement. “His ability to cover the game, measure the moment, and share valuable, memorable notes about the teams, the players, and the game defines his style.”
Jones will be on the call this Sunday (March 13) for ABC’s broadcast of the New York Knicks at the Brooklyn Nets, with analyst Doris Burke (who also just signed an extension with the network) and reporter Malika Andrews.
Previously, Jones has also called track and field, gymnastics, and speed skating for ESPN and ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
Jones is also currently the TV play-by-play voice on Sacramento Kings game telecasts for NBC Sports California, now finishing up his second season with the team.
“This is where I want to be,” Jones said in ESPN’s official announcement. “I’m absolutely thrilled to continue this unimaginable journey through sports at ESPN with the most talented people in the industry.
“I think about walking into the NBA Today and SportsCenter studios in 1990 with a chance to document the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls, and almost 32 years later I’m covering another all-time legend in LeBron James. I’m elated by the opportunities I’ve had. I’ve even interviewed our first Black President Barack Obama.”
Jones also expressed gratitude to ESPN for allowing him to call one of his daughter’s basketball games with San Jose State last month.
Prior to joining ESPN/ABC, Jones worked at TSN in Toronto, where he anchored studio coverage and highlight programs, in addition to a weekly show featuring the Toronto Blue Jays. His brother, Paul, still works in Canada as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Raptors.
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.