Warriors vs. Celtics Game 1 to Have 1st All-Black Announcing Crew in Finals History

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 2, 2022

ESPN reporter Lisa Salters works before an NFL football game between the Tennessee Titans and the Buffalo Bills Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

ESPN will be making history with Thursday's broadcast of Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals on ABC.

Mark Jones, Mark Jackson and Lisa Salters will make up the three-person crew in front of the camera. Sports Business Journal's John Ourand noted it's the first all-Black announce team for a Finals game.

Jackson is a mainstay for ESPN's biggest NBA games, while Salters just signed a deal with the company that will see her continue as a lead NBA sideline reporter. Jones, however, is a temporary replacement for Mike Breen, who's unavailable for the start of the series.

ESPN announced on Tuesday it's planning to use Breen, Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy at the broadcast table and Salters on the sidelines for the Finals. However, Breen is still recovering from COVID-19, which kept him away from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and Van Gundy has tested positive for the virus and will also miss Game 1, per Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

The Golden State Warriors will host the Boston Celtics in Game 1, with the tipoff scheduled for 9 p.m. ET.