Michael Wilbon’s role on ESPN’s NBA Countdown will be diminished next season and taking his spot on the set will most likely be former 76ers coach Doug Collins multiple sources told The Big Lead.

The move is primarily so that Wilbon can return to focusing on the show that made him a star Pardon the Interruption. In recent years Wilbon has increasingly appeared on PTI via remote – from Chicago Miami Los Angeles Arizona etc – diluting some of the outstanding chemistry he’s built up with longtime friend Tony Kornheiser.

Wilbon’s frequent travel has also led to PTI replacing him with Bob Ryan or J.A. Adande and the end result of both of those factors is that ratings for the show have sagged in the last two years sources say.

An ESPN spokesman told The Big Lead ”We’re still in the process of finalizing our commentator plans for this season.”

On the dip in PTI ratings ESPN stressed the show is “a great performer with a loyal following.”

The rest of the 2012-2013 Countdown cast – Bill Simmons Jalen Rose and Magic Johnson – has notified ESPN they will return to the show.