Magic Johnson leaving ESPN

Updated: October 11, 2013, 9:00 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Earvin "Magic" Johnson announced on Thursday that he'll no longer be part of ESPN's NBA coverage because of his other commitments.

Johnson, a five-time NBA champion, three-time MVP and member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, joined the network in 2008. He appeared on ESPN and ABC as a studio and game analyst.

"We appreciate Magic's contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors," John Wildhack, ESPN's executive vice president, production, said in a statement. "We are in the process of determining our NBA commentator roles for the upcoming season."

Johnson is part of the ownership group that agreed to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers in March 2012. Since retiring from basketball, he has been successful in business, investing in movie theaters, a production company and restaurants. He also has been an activist in the fight against HIV after being diagnosed with the virus in 1991.

He expanded his role on ESPN to join "NBA Countdown" in 2011.

"I love ESPN. Unfortunately, due to the nature of my schedule and other commitments, I don't feel confident that I can continue to devote the time needed to thrive in my role," Johnson said in a statement. "I will always feel a strong connection to the ESPN family and I enjoyed working with them very much."

Earlier this week, ESPN announced the hiring of former 76ers coach Doug Collins as an analyst on a number of NBA shows. Collins was expected to work alongside Johnson on those shows.

In another development, Doris Burke, longtime NBA and college basketball analyst/sideline reporter for ESPN, will be working one day per week on "NBA Countdown."

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