Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and sports media personality Bill Simmons will reportedly become a part of ESPNs NBA halftime show, according to a report Wednesday from The Sporting News.
Van Gundy and Simmons will reportedly replace two of last years hosts, Chris Broussard and Jon Barry. Broussard will report from ESPNs headquarters in Bristol, Conn. while Barry will take on a guest analyst role for the network, something akin to what Jalen Rose held last season. Michael Wilbon and Magic Johnson, who co-hosted the show last season, will remain.
There has not yet been a confirmation of this report from ESPN, but The Sporting News, citing a report from MediaBistro, posted a statement from ESPN in which they confirm that the network is trying to incorporate Simmons and Van Gundy into their programming:
“We are in the process of considering all assignments for both returning and potential new commentator roles,” ESPN spokesman Ben Cafardo told Media Bistro. “As we’ve said before, Stan is someone we’d be interested in exploring. For Bill, same applies, we’re exploring the best ways to utilize all of our talent, including Bill, this NBA season.”Reports of these hires could be seen as a way for the network to compete with TNTs Emmy award-winning show, Inside the NBA, which is hosted during NBA games by Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal.