ABC & ESPN Combine to Present Five-Game Blockbuster NBA Christmas Day Schedule
Star-Studded ABC Doubleheader Includes Thunder-Knicks; Heat-Lakers
More Than 30 @ESPNNBA Commentators Will Provide Comprehensive Christmas Day Coverage
Multi-Platinum, Grammy Nominated Recording Artist Leona Lewis to Star in Christmas Day Open
ABC and ESPN will combine to present all five NBA Christmas Day Games on Wednesday, Dec. 25. The blockbuster schedule is highlighted by ABC's first two NBA broadcasts of the season - the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant visiting the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony at 2:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant hosting the two-time NBA Champion Miami Heat and reigning NBA MVP LeBron James at 5 p.m.
Mike Breen will join analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Lisa Salters to provide commentary for the Knicks-Thunder game, while Mike Tirico, analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Heather Cox will call the action for Heat-Lakers. In total, more than 30 ESPN NBA commentators will provide comprehensive Christmas Day coverage across ESPN and ABC platforms.
NBA on ESPN Christmas Day Coverage
ESPN's Christmas Day coverage will tip off at 12 p.m. with the Brooklyn Nets - led by Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce - hosting the Chicago Bulls with Joakim Noah and Luol Deng. Ryan Ruocco, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Chris Broussard will provide commentary for the telecast.
ESPN will resume its Christmas Day coverage with a primetime doubleheader beginning at 8 p.m. when the Houston Rockets - led by Dwight Howard and James Harden - visit the defending Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Mark Jones, analyst George Karl and reporter Israel Gutierrez will call the action. The five-game docket concludes with the Golden State Warriors - led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson - hosting the Los Angeles Clippers with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin at 10:30 p.m. Dave Pasch and Jon Barry will provide commentary with reporter J.A. Adande.
The new NBA Countdown team - led by host Sage Steele with analysts Doug Collins, Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons -- will make its ABC debut on Christmas Day at 2 p.m., leading into the ABC doubleheader. ABC broadcasts will include Sprint half-time reports between both games. ESPN half-time shows with the Countdown crew are sponsored by Toyota.
Christmas Day Broadcast Open with Leona Lewis
Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated recording artist Leona Lewis will lend her voice to the ABC and ESPN NBA Christmas Day broadcast open. Lewis' rendition of "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday," from her just-released, first-ever holiday album Christmas, With Love will be featured prominently in the broadcast open prior to each game, in Countdown and in promotional spots throughout the Christmas Day telecasts. Lewis is a three-time Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter and former X Factor UK winner who has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide.
ESPN Radio will nationally broadcast two blockbuster NBA Christmas Day games, with coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. Marc Kestecher and P.J. Carlesimo will call the Thunder-Knicks game while Kevin Calabro and Will Perdue will describe the action for Heat-Lakers. ESPN Radio's Christmas Day broadcasts are also available on ESPNRadio.com and via the ESPN Radio app.
ESPN Deportes will provide Spanish language coverage of the final four NBA games with Alvaro Martin, Carlos Morales, Fernando Alvarez and Manu Martin providing commentary. In addition, Jerry Olaya, Robert Abramowitz, Leopoldo Gonzalez and Robert Sierra will voice the Secondary Audio Program (SAP) coverage for each ABC game.
ESPN.com will offer comprehensive coverage of the NBA on Christmas Day with reporters at each game. ESPN.com will also have special editions of the Daily Dime Live and 5-on-5 features, as well as a day-long live chat beginning at noon. Additionally, ESPN.com's local websites will have coverage leading up to, and throughout, Christmas Day at ESPNNY.com, ESPNChicago.com, ESPNLA.com, ESPNBoston and the Heat Index.
· Roy Hibbert from the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers and C.J. McCollum from the Western Conference-leading Portland Trail Blazers are scheduled to take over @ESPNNBA's handle for part of Christmas Day, sharing observations and insights about the Christmas Day games.
· Throughout Christmas Day, ESPN will have extensive social media integration on Countdown and across platforms using #NBAXmas. The hashtag will also be utilized to aggregate photos and images for a special NBA Christmas Day social mosaic.
· ESPN will offer fans the chance to win copies of NBA Live 14 during each of the five NBA game telecasts. Secret hashtags will be announced during every quarter, and two winners that tweet the hashtag to @ESPNNBA on Twitter will be randomly selected to win. A total of 60 winners will be chosen throughout the day.
WatchESPN and WatchABC
Christmas Day games and Countdown are available on computers, smartphones, tablets, Apple TV, Xbox and Roku players via WatchESPN and on computers, smartphones and tablets via WatchABC.
The Rockets-Spurs game will air across all international networks (Caribbean, Central America, South America, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands). In addition, Pacific-Rim (Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands) will also air the Heat-Lakers and Clippers-Warriors games.
ABC & ESPN NBA Christmas Day schedule:
Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Networks
Wed, Dec. 25
12 p.m. NBA Christmas Special Presented by State Farm: Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets
Ryan Ruocco, Doris Burke, Chris Broussard ESPN, WatchESPN
2 p.m. NBA Countdown
Sage Steele, Doug Collins, Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons ABC, WatchABC
2:30 p.m. NBA Christmas Special Presented by State Farm: Oklahoma City Thunder at New York Knicks
ABC: Mike Breen, Hubie Brown, Lisa Salters
ESPN Radio: Marc Kestecher, P.J. Carlesimo
ESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos Morales ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchABC
5 p.m. NBA Christmas Special Presented by State Farm: Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers
ABC: Mike Tirico, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather Cox
ESPN Radio: Kevin Calabro, Will Perdue
ESPN Deportes: Fernando Alvarez, Manu Martin ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, WatchABC
8 p.m. NBA Christmas Special Presented by State Farm: Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs
ESPN: Mark Jones, George Karl, Israel Gutierrez
ESPN Deportes: A. Martin, Morales ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
10:30 p.m. NBA Christmas Special Presented by State Farm: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors
ESPN: Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, J.A. Adande
ESPN Deportes: Alvarez, M. Martin ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN