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Magic Johnson Back to ESPN as Analyst

Magic Johnson is coming back to ESPN as a studio analyst on NBA Countdown. He’ll first appear as part of ABC’s Christmas Day NBA coverage, then will join pre-game coverage for the NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC series starting Jan. 21.

Johnson will reunite with Michael Wilbon, who is also making his return to NBA Countdown as an analyst this season on Saturday nights. They will join Sage Steele, returning for her fourth season as NBA Countdown host. The show runs 8-8:30.

“In addition to being one of the most famous sports figures ever, Magic brings undeniable charisma and virtually unparalleled credibility to NBA Countdown,” said Kevin Wildes, ESPN VP of original content. “We’re glad to welcome Magic back to ESPN and to reunite him with Michael Wilbon, who is one of the most popular and authoritative sports commentators in the business. They have an established chemistry from years of working together, and with host Sage Steele leading the charge and setting the tone, this trio will be a delight for NBA fans.”

Johnson was an NBA studio analyst from 2008-2013 and worked alongside Wilbon on NBA Countdown from 2011-2013. Wilbon continues to co-host PardonThe Interruption.

“I’m so excited to be working with my ESPN family again on NBA Countdown Saturday nights,” said Johnson, a 12- time NBA all-star and five time league champ with the Los Angeles Lakers. “Michael, Sage and I are going to have a lot of fun this season while we cover the greatest sport in the world. Basketball has been so good to me, and I can’t wait to once again share my love and passion for the game with the fans and my ESPN colleagues.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.