ESPN and ABC Gear Up for a Full Day of NBA Action on Christmas Day


ESPN and ABC Gear Up for a Full Day of NBA Action on Christmas Day

Stars on Christmas: LeBron James | Stephen Curry | Kevin Durant | James Harden | Russell Westbrook | Giannis Antetokounmpo | Chris Paul | Joel Embiid | Kyrie Irving | Damian Lillard

A 17-year Christmas day tradition continues on Tuesday, Dec. 25, as ESPN and ABC combine to televise all five NBA games across approximately 13 consecutive hours of coverage.

The Christmas Day slate tips off exclusively on ESPN at noon ET with a Madison Square Garden tradition as the New York Knicks and Kevin Knox hosts the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo. This marks Milwaukee’s first Christmas Day game since 1977. Ryan Ruocco will provide commentary with analyst Chauncey Billups and reporter Tom Rinaldi.

Christmas action continues as reigning NBA MVP James Harden and the Houston Rockets hosts 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder at 3 p.m. Dave Pasch and analyst Doris Burke will call the game live from Houston. Following the battle of MVPs, Mark Jones will provide commentary with analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Israel Gutierrez at 5:30 p.m. for the ABC Eastern Conference matchup, as Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers visits Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics.

The prime-time game will feature the highly anticipated showdown between the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, led by Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry and the Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James. The game airs at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ABC, and marks the Lakers’ 20th consecutive Christmas Day game. Mike Breen will provide play-by-play with analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson live from Oracle Arena, with reporter Lisa Salters.

The five-game lineup concludes when Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers visits Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN. Adam Amin and P.J. Carlesimo will call the action with reporter Jorge Sedano.

ESPN’s NBA Christmas Day, production features 12-20 cameras covering each game, mic’d players throughout the day and a notable Nutty Professor themed musical opening for each game starring Hamilton’s Tony Award-winning actor, Daveed Diggs.

NBA Countdown, ESPN’s NBA pregame show, will tip off the Christmas Day coverage at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN as host Michelle Beadle joins analysts Paul Pierce and Jalen Rose, and ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski. The team will provide commentary for a total of seven shows, including each halftime and a 30-minute pregame show on ABC at 2:30 p.m.

Additionally rules analyst, Steve Javie, will be live at the NBA Replay Center in Secaucus, New Jersey providing his expertise for the Bucks-Knicks and Rockets-Thunder games.

ESPN Radio will broadcast the 76ers vs. Celtics game with play-by-play announcer Sean Kelley alongside analyst Kara Lawson, and the Lakers vs. Warriors game with play-by-play announcer Marc Kestecher and analyst Jon Barry.

On Christmas Eve, ESPN’s The Jump will broadcast a 90-minute NBA on ESPN Christmas preview special beginning at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN. Scottie Pippen, Amin Elhassan, Nick Friedell and Marc Spears will join host Rachel Nichols for a full preview of NBA Christmas Day. The Jump returns to ESPN on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at 3 p.m. to recap the Christmas Day matchups.

Christmas Week on ESPN +

Dec. 24:

Episode 6 of More Than An Athlete will be available on Monday, Dec. 24, exclusively on ESPN+. The eight-part series examines the unique bonds of friendship and business partnership forged between LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Randy Mims and Rich Paul as James went from basketball prodigy to global sports icon accomplished businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. More Than An Athlete is from ESPN+ and UNINTERRUPTED, the award-winning digital media company founded by James and Carter.

NBA: Year One features New York Knicks rookie Kevin Knox as he shops for a Christmas tree with his mom for his first Christmas in New York and visits Rockefeller Center with teammates to surprise children from the Garden of Dreams Foundation. NBA: Year One gives fans an unprecedented, all-access look behind the scenes of the most notable NBA rookies, on and off the court.

ESPN+ is the premium direct-to-consumer sports service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN.

All ESPN and ABC programming is available to stream on the ESPN App.


Shakeemah Simmons-Winter

I am a senior publicist for men’s pro sports, working predominantly with the NBA and FIBA properties. I’m a Jersey City, NJ native, so I cheer for all New York sports and athletes, win or lose. I began my sports career as a small forward for JCPS #9’s elementary basketball team, and then years later gave up my hoop dreams (sort of) to work as the Public Relations Coordinator for the New York Knicks. Prior to working in sports, I briefly worked as an intern turned production assistant for the Wendy Williams Show. I earned a B.A. in Communications from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where I met my husband Matthew, and later attended New York University to earn a M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communications. I am excited to continue my sports journey with some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the sports industry.
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