Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy Announcing NBA Games on National TV is Becoming Increasingly Problematic

The main deterrent of Zion Williamson's debut was the Mark Jackson-Jeff Van Gundy commentary
The main deterrent of Zion Williamson's debut was the Mark Jackson-Jeff Van Gundy commentary / Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

NBA fans have waited since June to catch the debut of New Orleans Pelicans first overall pick Zion Williamson. That day finally came on Wednesday night, as Williamson faced off against the San Antonio Spurs, with a solid chunk of the league's future and marketing dollars at stake.

Wiliamson's fourth quarter performance alone was something to talk about with your friends and coworkers on Thursday.

However, ESPN announcers Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy weren't nearly as impressed, and tried to ruin it with their awful commentary.

The "dynamic duo" started off grandly. After Williamson checked out after four uneventful minutes, Jackson and Van Gundy instantly began criticizing the rookie's weight. In fact, ESPN even showed a graphic on screen underneath Williamson to state the "fact" that he's the third-heaviest player in the league.

Yes, he did look gassed after logging his first NBA minutes. But did Jackson and Van Gundy forget that Williamson was coming off knee surgery? Of course he's going to look sluggish! Any athlete would.

Then, there's their complaints on rampant 3-point shooting. It didn't just happen during Wednesday night's game. It occurs on ever single national game they call.

The two public faces of the league don't seem to realize this is the new NBA. 3-point shooting is more prominent than ever, and it's taken the sport's popularity to new heights. What NBA fan wants to listen to old men yelling at a cloud during exciting basketball action?

And then, there's Jackson and Van Gundy downing playing the hype surrounding the NBA's brightest young stars.

After Williamson was subbed out in the first quarter, Jackson actually concluded that he'd rather have Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant over Zion. How about give the kid some time to get into a groove before making such a declarative statement?

Additionally, both commentators snickered at the popularity of Williamson on social media. 4.4 million Instagram followers is nothing to scoff at, guys. Way to let the air out of the balloon.

NBA fans don't tune in to listen to Jackson and Van Gundy record a podcast. They watch for the action. ESPN needs to find a solution to this ongoing commentary problem, and the easy answer is separating the two.