Two Hall of Famers will come together for one telecast on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
On that day, longtime ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale and ESPN NBA analyst, Magic Johnson, will share the color analyst role for ESPN’s coverage of No. 1 Indiana at No. 12 Michigan State at 7 p.m. ET. Versatile commentator Mike Tirico will take the role of play-by-play alongside the two basketball fanatics.
“From the time I was a high school basketball player in Michigan I was captivated by Coach Vitale’s spirit and passion,” said Johnson. “I’ve been fortunate to have developed a wonderful relationship with him — one which is bonded by our common love of basketball.”
For Vitale, who will call the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament Final Four for ESPN International in April, working with Johnson for a telecast is another milestone.
“I have always said if there was one player I wish I could’ve coached in my life it would be Earvin Magic Johnson,” Vitale said. “I am thrilled to be able to work with him and Mike Tirico. Although, I might have to remind Magic a few times that Indiana will be playing as well.”
“I am thrilled to be the third wheel with two of the iconic figures who have impacted college basketball forever,” Tirico said. “I look forward to sitting back and listening to two of the best talk basketball. . . and I assume I will do far more listening than talking that night.”
Johnson, an NBA studio analyst on ABC and ESPN since 2010, was the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft following a stellar stint at Michigan State, where he led the Spartans to the college championship as a sophomore. A five-time NBA champion and three-time NBA MVP, Johnson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Vitale, a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame who will be inducted into NSSA Hall of Fame in June, joined ESPN in 1979 — just after the network’s launch.
Vitale and Johnson, long-time friends, have never worked an event together. In the mid-1970s, Johnson was recruited by Vitale, then-head coach of the University of Detroit men’s basketball team.