ESPN Eyes 'NBA Countdown' Sub for Magic Johnson

ESPN, which earlier this week, shuffled the talent roster for its NBA Countdown show, now will have to conjure another player for its on-air team, as Magic Johnson has removed himself from the roster.

"Earvin 'Magic' Johnson informed us today that he'll no longer be part of our NBA coverage due to his other commitments," said ESPN executive vice president of production John Wildhack. "We appreciate Magic's contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors. We are in the process of determining our NBA commentator roles for the upcoming season."

On Oct. 8, ESPN inked a multiyear deal with Doug Collins, who most recently coached the Philadelphia 76ers for the past three seasons, to replace Michael Wilbon on NBA Countdown. ESPN said that Wilbon will still have a "significant presence" on the network's NBA coverage, including appearances on SportsCenter and other news and information programming. He will be on-site for the Conference Finals and NBA Finals.

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