ESPN’s Doris Burke Breaks Barriers in NBA Role

One of basketball's best announcers has broken through in a big way.

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors talks with ESPN reporter Doris Burke after their victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Five of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 12, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors talks with ESPN reporter Doris Burke after their victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Five of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 12, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Cory Gunkel / November 1, 2017 12:44 pm

NBA fans and players alike recognize Doris Burke as one of the most interesting basketball minds in America. Her deft knowledge of the game and smooth broadcasting skills give after decades of working as an analyst and reporter have given her a unique perspective that is now showcased on television weekly.

Burke, who has worked at ESPN since 1991, became the first woman to work as a full-time analyst during NBA games, helping break a barrier and prove that her years of dedicated work make her one of the foremost minds in the NBA.

Burke represents a rapidly changing landscape in the sporting world, according to The Atlantic — one in which women are finally being given opportunities to knock down the “boys club” mentality of sports media and repel the critics and online trolls who believe sports announcing is a guys-only affair.

“I’m not going to tell you I’m not aware of it,” Burke told The Atlantic writer Robert O’Connell of reactions online to her game analysis on TV. “I’ve seen it. It has historically been ugly.”

But Burke hasn’t allowed that to stop her or other women who are shining in prime time as broadcasters in other sports as they continue to pave the way for those who will come after them.

“I do feel as though we are in a seminal moment for women in sports broadcasting,” Burke said in October. “We’re going to look back on this time and know that that was an era where things really started to change.”