ESPN’s NBA Season Tips Off with Doubleheaders Oct. 28 & 30


ESPN’s NBA Season Tips Off with Doubleheaders Oct. 28 & 30

RS14829_20080413_bryant_kobe001-scrESPN and ABC Combine for 90-Game Flexible Schedule

L.A. Lakers Receive Championship Rings Opening Night (Oct. 27) on ESPN Radio

ESPN’s 2009-10 NBA season will open with doubleheaders Wednesday, Oct. 28 – the New Orleans Hornets and Chris Paul visiting the San Antonio Spurs and Tim Duncan at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the Denver Nuggets and Carmelo Anthony hosting the Utah Jazz and Deron Williams at 10:30 p.m. – and Friday, Oct. 30 – the Chicago Bulls and Derrick Rose visiting the Boston Celtics and Paul Pierce, in a rematch of the thrilling seven-game 2009 NBA Playoff series, at 8 p.m., followed by the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant hosting the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki at 10:30 p.m.  Kia NBA Shootaround will preview the action Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. and Friday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m.  ESPN and ABC – the home of The Finals – will combine to deliver a 90-game flexible regular-season schedule.


ESPN Radio, with 26 regular-season games, will broadcast an opening night matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers, with Bryant and teammates receiving their championship rings, Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 10 p.m. Jim Durham will call the game with Hall of Famer Dr. Jack Ramsay.


ESPN’s opening week lineup:



Time (ET)



Tues., Oct. 27

10 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at L.A. Lakers

Jim Durham, Dr. Jack Ramsay

ESPN Radio

Wed., Oct. 28

7 p.m.

Kia NBA Shootaround

Stuart Scott, Avery Johnson, Jalen Rose, Michael Wilbon



8 p.m.

New Orleans at San Antonio

Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Doris Burke



10:30 p.m.

Utah at Denver

Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Lisa Salters


Fri., Oct. 30

7:30 p.m.

Kia NBA Shootaround

Scott, Johnson, Rose



8 p.m.

Chicago at Boston

Breen, Brown, Burke



10:30 p.m.

Dallas at L.A. Lakers*

Dan Shulman, Jackson, Van Gundy, Ric Bucher


* also available on ESPN Deportes


NBA Preseason Schedule

ESPN will televise a preseason doubleheader Friday, Oct. 23, when the Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard host the Atlanta Hawks and Joe Johnson at 8 p.m., followed by the Denver Nuggets and Carmelo Anthony visiting the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant at 10:30 p.m.  Mike Breen and analyst Hubie Brown will provide commentary for the Hawks/Magic game, with Kevin Calabro and analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy calling the Nuggets/Lakers contest.  Kia NBA Shootaround, with host Matt Winer and analysts Avery Johnson and Jamal Mashburn, at 7:30 p.m.


ESPN2 will televise a NBA Fastbreak Roundtable – hosted by Mark Jones with reporters J.A. Adande, Chris Broussard, Ric Bucher and Marc Stein – offering discussion on off-season NBA storylines Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m.  Additionally, ESPN2 will televise a NBA 10 The Inside: Season Preview show Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m.


ESPN Game Commentators

ESPN’s game coverage will include the play-by-play voices of Breen, Mike Tirico, Dan Shulman, Calabro, Dave Pasch and Mark Jones; analysts Jackson, Van Gundy, Brown, Jon Barry, Doris Burke and Tim Legler; and reporters Burke, Lisa Salters, Ric Bucher, Heather Cox and Scott.



ESPN Studio Coverage (all available in high definition)


Kia NBA Shootaround

ESPN’s pregame show (Wednesdays and Fridays) will regularly be hosted by Stuart Scott or Mark Jones with a combination of analysts Avery Johnson, Jamal Mashburn and Jalen Rose.


NBA Fastbreak

ESPN’s nightly highlights, news and information show will frequently be hosted by Winer with analysts Tim Legler, Mashburn and Rose.


NBA Coast to Coast

ESPN2’s signature whiparound format show will continue to provide fans with live look-ins to games, along with analysis, news and information, generally Tuesdays throughout the season. Commentators will regularly include host Winer and analysts Legler, Mashburn and Rose.


Reporters J.A. Adande, Chris Broussard, Bucher and Marc Stein will also contribute to ESPN studio programs.


Christmas Day Blockbuster

ESPN and ABC will collectively showcase five Christmas Day games, highlighted by a blockbuster doubleheader on ABC – the Orlando Magic hosting the Boston Celtics at 2:30 p.m., followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers visiting the Los Angeles Lakers at 5 p.m. ESPN will surround ABC’s coverage, tipping off the game action with the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade visiting the New York Knicks and Al Harrington at 12 p.m., and closing with a primetime doubleheader – the Phoenix Suns and Amare Stoudemire hosting the Los Angeles Clippers and Baron Davis at 8 p.m., leading up to the Denver Nuggets visiting the Portland Trail Blazers and Brandon Roy at 10:30 p.m.



Following the Christmas Day doubleheader, there will be a regular slate of NBA Sunday Showcase on ABC afternoon broadcasts beginning January 31. Breen will regularly team with analysts Jackson and Van Gundy, while Tirico will pair with analyst Brown. GMC NBA Countdown will preview ABC broadcasts throughout the season with host Scott and analysts Magic Johnson, Jon Barry and Michael Wilbon.


The NBA on ESPN Radio’s 15th season

Durham and Ramsay are the primary announce team for ESPN Radio, which will broadcast 26 regular season games along with the 59th All-Star Game, a Christmas Day Cavaliers-Lakers game, and postseason action including every Finals game.


2008-09 Ratings Recap

The 2008-09 NBA season garnered successful ratings results across ESPN and ABC including:

  • ESPN’s most-viewed regular season and postseason ever;
  • ABC’s most-viewed NBA regular season since 2002-03;
  • ESPN’s six most-viewed basketball games (pro or college) of all time;
  • ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed Conference Finals ever;
  • ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed Conference Semifinals ever;
  • The Finals on ABC delivered the top five broadcasts on TV among viewers;
  • all five Finals broadcasts ranked No. 1 each night for ABC;
  • NBA content on had more than 1.3 billion total page views;
  • ESPN Mobile tallied over 737 million page views;
  • grew NBA viewership by 64 percent.


ESPN Classic NBA Tip-Off Marathon Oct. 24-25

ESPN Classic will present a full schedule of NBA content – including memorable buzzer beaters and overtime thrillers – Saturday, Oct. 24, from 1-9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25, from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.


2009-10 NBA Season Highlights

ESPN and ABC’s coverage of the 2009-10 NBA season will include a 90-game flexible regular-season schedule (all games available in high definition), a full complement of studio programming, and the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. ESPN will televise each round of the playoffs, including the Eastern Conference Finals exclusively across ESPN and ABC and The Finals exclusively on ABC.  All ESPN games will also be available via and nearly all will be available through ESPN Mobile TV.  ESPN Radio will broadcast 26 regular season games – plus NBA All-Star events and NBA Playoffs, including The Finals – with ESPN Deportes offering a 22-game schedule.


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