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Doris Burke thanks LeBron James, Chris Paul during award acceptance

Doris Burke was the recipient of the Curt Gowdy Media Award this week and singled out two NBA superstars she credits for their support: LeBron James and Chris Paul.

Burke accepted the award during a ceremony Thursday evening at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., which is bestowed upon those who make a “significant contribution to the game of basketball.” During her acceptance speech, Burke thanked James and Paul along with a couple of NBA head coaches.

“To the players and the coaches of the NBA — Rick Carlisle, LeBron James, Steve Kerr, Chris Paul, and many many others,” Burke said, via ESPN, “your private words of support to me, and your public statements of support of my work, went far beyond what you could imagine. And the confidence that I had to do the job ESPN has given me.”

Burke has been with ESPN since 1991 covering the NBA, women’s college basketball and the WNBA. The respected reporter was named a full-time NBA game analyst last year, becoming the first woman to hold such a role. Burke made sure to thank others who have supported her along the way and stressed why the NBA should be held in such high esteem.

“My assignments at ESPN are now exclusively NBA related, and I guarantee you everybody in this building knows that under the leadership of David Stern and Adam Silver, the NBA is the single most inclusive, open-minded, progressive sports league in the country,” Burke said. “And both men’s support of me speaks volumes.”

James, incidentally, earlier this year mentioned Burke’s knowledge of the game of basketball and her expertise in covering the support when addressing the issue of whether a woman could be an NBA head coach.

Burke is widely admired by her peers and respected by the athletes she covers and without question is among the best in the business. The Curt Gowdy Media Award is a well-deserved honor for someone who contributes so much to the sports media landscape.