The NBA Christmas Day tradition will continue with a blockbuster doubleheader on ABC highlighted by the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and Finals MVP Kobe Bryant hosting the Miami Heat and the recently established nucleus of league MVP LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh Saturday, Dec. 25, at 5 p.m. ET. It will be the first meeting between the teams this season. The doubleheader will tip off when the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics visit the Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard, 2010 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, at 2:30 p.m. The NBA Countdown pregame show will preview the action at 2 p.m. ESPN Radio will broadcast the Heat/Lakers matchup with coverage beginning at 4:15 p.m.
In addition to ABC’s doubleheader, ESPN will televise three Christmas Day games including the New York Knicks and offseason acquisition Amar’e Stoudemire hosting the Chicago Bulls, led by All-Star point guard Derrick Rose and newcomer Carlos Boozer, at 12 p.m. ESPN will also televise an evening doubleheader featuring a pair of the NBA’s elite forwards when the Denver Nuggets and Carmelo Anthony face the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant at 8 p.m., and a new-look Golden State Warriors, with the addition of David Lee joining rookie standout Stephen Curry, hosting the Portland Trail Blazers and All-Star Brandon Roy at 10:30 p.m.
ESPN’s games will also be seen via ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV. ESPN Deportes will televise the Bulls/Knicks and Nuggets/Thunder matchups.
Christmas Day Schedule
|12 p.m.||Chicago at New York Knicks||ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Deportes|
|2:30 p.m.||Boston at Orlando||ABC, ABC HD|
|5 p.m.||Miami at Los Angeles Lakers||ABC, ABC HD, ESPN Radio (4:15 p.m.)|
|8 p.m.||Denver at Oklahoma City||ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Deportes|
|10:30 p.m.||Portland at Golden State||ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN3.com & ESPN Mobile TV|
Opening Week Doubleheaders on ESPN; Opening Night on ESPN Radio
ESPN will open its 2010 NBA schedule with a doubleheader on Wednesday, Oct. 27, when Oklahoma City hosts Chicago at 8 p.m. and Portland visits the Los Angeles Clippers, in the anticipated professional debut of Blake Griffin, at 10:30 p.m. Opening week action will continue with an ESPN doubleheader on Friday, Oct. 29, featuring a marquee Eastern Conference showdown – Orlando vs. Miami – at 8 p.m., and the Phoenix Suns and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash hosting the L.A. Lakers at 10:30 p.m. ESPN’s games will also be seen via ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV. NBA Shootaround will preview both doubleheaders at 7:30 p.m. ESPN Deportes will televise the Friday doubleheader.
Additionally, ESPN Radio will broadcast the Opening Night showdown between Miami and Boston on Tuesday, Oct. 26, with coverage beginning at 7:15 p.m.
ESPN’s Opening Week Schedule
|Tue., Oct. 26||7:15 p.m.||Miami at Boston||ESPN Radio|
|Wed., Oct. 27||8 p.m.||Chicago at Oklahoma City||ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN3.com & ESPN Mobile TV|
|10:30 p.m.||Portland at L.A. Clippers||ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN3.com & ESPN Mobile TV|
|Fri., Oct. 29||8 p.m.||Orlando at Miami||ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Deportes|
|10:30 p.m.||L.A. Lakers at Phoenix||ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Deportes|
First Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Game on ESPN
For the first time, ESPN will televise a game on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day when the Memphis Grizzlies host Chicago and Rose (who played college basketball at the University of Memphis) Monday, Jan. 17, at 1 p.m. The National Civil Rights Museum is located in Memphis.