ESPNInside ESPNNBATeam Player

Team Player: Doris Burke
and Scott Matthews

(L to R): Dave O’Brien, Dick Vitale, Scott Matthews and Doris Burke huddle at Duke University in 2013.
Scott Matthews on working
with Doris Burke:

“Doris is one of the best analysts in sports television, not only because of her expertise, but also her dedication, curiosity and creativity. Some of my favorite memories of working with Doris are off-air: collaborating with her leading up to the game on storylines or creative elements, or after the game, breaking down our successes or how to improve. On air, there is no analyst more comfortable to work with – she elevates her entire production team. Doris has had such an impact on my career. She’s made me a better producer, and I’ve had so much fun working with her through the years.”

Front Row’s “Team Player” series continues this week with one of the most respected commentators in sports, Doris Burke.

Burke is the first female national NBA game analyst in a full-time capacity – she’s working the Heat-Sixers game (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN). But for “Team Player,” Burke reminisces about her days as an ESPN college basketball analyst.

Her producer then was Scott Matthews – who also produces ESPN’s Home Run Derby telecast. He is Burke’s “Team Player.”

What makes Matthews successful in his role?
Scott Matthews is organized, prepared and passionate about every college basketball game he produces. It matters not who is playing, their ranking or how important, or not, a game may be perceived to be. Scott is bringing it!

How did he help you do your job to the best of your ability?
Every Big East, and then ACC, tournament I ever had the pleasure of working with Scott, he arrived with a notebook about four inches thick. His production notes are legendary. An announcer can think they have seen every article written on every player or team, and yet, Scott would have a quote in his production notes, from an article only he had tracked down somewhere. He made our telecasts better by refusing to be outworked and by his commitment to cover every story dictated by the game. That raised everyone’s level.

Describe an instance when Matthews went above and beyond to help you.
A couple of winters ago, I had fallen on some ice outside my home. Two days later, I was scheduled to call a game at Boston College. First, Scott made it abundantly clear, if I needed to take the game off, to do so. Given that I wanted to work, Scott bent over backwards to make sure I had everything necessary to work, including offering to pick me up on his way to Boston. In over a decade of working with Scott Matthews, that kind of care and concern was an everyday occurrence.