It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like XMS! Four Blockbuster NBA Games On ABC & ESPN


It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like XMS! Four Blockbuster NBA Games On ABC & ESPN

  • Five-Time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant Presents New Musecage Basketball Network Content for Fans
  • Actor and Recording Artist Daveed Diggs Starring In and Narrating the NBA on ESPN Christmas Broadcast Open; Harlem School of the Arts Choir Featured in NBA Countdown Open
  • Doris Burke, Kara Lawson Both to Serve as Game Analysts on Christmas
  • Golden State Warriors Host Cleveland Cavaliers in Rematch of ABC’s Most-Watched NBA Finals
  • Second-screen Offerings on the ESPN App to Include Pre-game Layup Lines for All Four Games, Plus ‘NBA Above The Rim’ Camera View for Philadelphia 76ers-New York Knicks Game

ESPN XMS commentators: Michelle Beadle, Chauncey Billups, Hubie Brown, Mike Breen, Doris Burke, Jeff Goodman, Israel Gutierrez, Cassidy Hubbarth, Mark Jackson, Mark Jones, Kara Lawson, Dave Pasch, Paul Pierce, Jalen Rose, Ryan Ruocco, Lisa Salters, Jeff Van Gundy, and more!

Dec. 25 will be a very Merry Christmas for NBA fans as ESPN and ABC will combine to televise four blockbuster games across more than 11 consecutive hours of cross-platform NBA coverage. NBA XMS is highlighted by a rematch of the most-watched NBA Finals in ABC history when the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and Kevin Durant host the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. The longest-tenured NBA Finals broadcast team – Mike Breen, with analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson – will provide commentary with reporter Israel Gutierrez.

The NBA Finals rematch is part of a star-studded ABC triple-header, which continues at 5:30 p.m. as the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics and Kyrie Irving host the Washington Wizards and John Wall. Dave Pasch will be joined by analyst Doris Burke and reporter Jeff Goodman. At 8 p.m., the Oklahoma City Thunder and reigning league M.V.P. Russell Westbrook will host the Houston Rockets and James Harden. Mark Jones will call the action with Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Hubie Brown and reporter Cassidy Hubbarth.

ESPN will tip off its coverage at 12 p.m. (noon) at Madison Square Garden when the New York Knicks and Kristaps Porzingis host the Philadelphia 76ers and Joel Embiid. The team of Ryan Ruocco, analyst Kara Lawson and reporter Lisa Salters will call the game. ESPN will offer a second screen experience on the ESPN App during this telecast, which will be highlighted by ESPN’s ‘NBA Above The Rim’ camera view of the game. ESPN will also air pre-game layup lines on the ESPN App ahead of all four Christmas games.

In addition, ESPN has teamed up with actor and recording artist Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) for a special NBA XMS broadcast open themed after the classic Christmas song Carol of the Bells. Diggs will serve as the star and the narrator for the open, which will be re-imagined as Carol of the (Basket) Balls.

NBA Countdown

In addition, two editions of NBA Countdown will air on Christmas. A one-hour edition of the show will air at 11 a.m. on ESPN with host Michelle Beadle and analysts Paul Pierce, Chauncey Billups and Jalen Rose. The quartet will return for a second show at 2:30 p.m. on ABC, leading into the NBA Finals rematch. NBA Countdown will begin with a Christmas-themed production open, featuring the Harlem School of the Arts choir singing a special version of Carol of the Bells.

 Five-Time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant presents Musecage Basketball Network: The Arc

Five-time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant is once again partnering with ESPN to release content from his short video presentation series called Musecage Basketball Network. His next piece – The Arc– will air on NBA Countdown at 11 a.m. on ESPN to tip off the day’s coverage.  Bryant serves as the creator, director and writer for Musecage Basketball Network – a series of short video presentations, each focused on an NBA on-court topic, through the eyes of Bryant. Musecage Basketball Network will offer insights into how Kobe Bryant analyzes the game. Bryant illustrates how certain strategies impact the upcoming match-up, in a family-friendly way.

ESPN Radio will broadcast the NBA Finals rematch between the Warriors and Cavaliers on Christmas, with audio coverage starting at 2 p.m. Marc Kestecher and analyst Jon Barry will describe the action. ESPN Radio will also carry the Wizards at Celtics game with commentary provided by Sean Kelley and analyst P.J. Carlesimo. Audio for both games is also available on the ESPN App and

All of ESPN and ABC’s Christmas games will also be available on the ESPN App. ESPN Deportes will televise the first three NBA Christmas games, while ESPN Deportes Mas will air the Thunder-Rockets game at 8 p.m. ESPN Deportes will also air its NBA Esta Noche show from 11:30 a.m.-noon.

ESPN will televise its season finale of Monday Night Football – Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles – on Christmas at 8:30 p.m.



Ben Cafardo

I lead communications strategy and execution for ESPN’s NBA, MLB, FIBA and Little League World Series properties. I’m also a proud consumer of all things ESPN.
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