Zion Williamson Expected to Make his Highly Anticipated Regular-Season Debut on ESPN this Wednesday


Zion Williamson Expected to Make his Highly Anticipated Regular-Season Debut on ESPN this Wednesday

  • Special one-hour edition of Hoops Streams Wednesday January 22 from New Orleans
  • Andre Iguodala Joins NBA Countdown Cast Friday
  • NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC Features Lakers vs. Sixers
  • The Jump and Hoop Streams Courtside in Philadelphia with Pregame Coverage
  • Rachel Nichols Goes One-On-One with Dwight Howard
  • New Orleans Pelicans Host Boston Celtics Sunday on ESPN

Rookie sensation Zion Williamson is expected to make his regular-season debut this Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the second half of ESPN’s NBA doubleheader. Williamson, who underwent surgery on the meniscus in his right knee three months ago, and the New Orleans Pelicans face LaMarcus Aldridge and the San Antonio Spurs at 9:30 p.m. ET. Play-by-play commentator Dave Pasch will call the action from Smoothie King Center with analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, and reporter Tom Rinaldi. Wednesday’s NBA on ESPN game coverage tips off at 7 p.m. ET in Toronto when Kyle Lowry and the Raptors host Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers. Ryan Ruocco will provide commentary with analyst Doris Burke. SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt will lead halftime coverage for both games.

Hoop Streams, ESPN’s on-site digital NBA pregame show, will be live from Smoothie King Center beginning at 8:30 p.m. ,ahead of Spurs vs. Pelicans, with host Cassidy Hubbarth, NBA analysts Kendrick Perkins and Chiney Ogwumike, and digital commentators Omar Raja and Christine Williamson, for a special one-hour edition of the show. Hoop Streams is available to stream on the ESPN App, and ESPN’s Twitter and YouTube platforms.

On Friday Jan. 24, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George head to South Beach with the LA Clippers to face Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat at 8 p.m. on ESPN. Dave Pasch will call the match up with analyst Chauncey Billups and reporter Ariel Helwani.  NBA Countdown will lead into the game beginning at 7 p.m. with host Maria Taylor, analysts Jalen Rose and Jay Williams, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski and three-time NBA Champion Andre Iguodala. The show will feature a piece on Utah Jazz veteran Joe Ingles’ experience as the father of a special needs child and his efforts to support families with similar experiences throughout the community.

NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by Under Armour

This week’s NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC features the Philadelphia 76ers, starring NBA All-Star Ben Simmons, and the Los Angeles Lakers starring three-time NBA Champion and MVP candidate LeBron James. The game tips off at 8:30 p.m. in Philadelphia with the broadcast team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson joined by sideline reporter Israel Gutierrez. ESPN officiating expert, Steve Javie, will provide analysis from the NBA Replay Center in Secaucus, N.J.

The NBA Saturday Primetime pregame edition of The Jump, will lead into game coverage at 8 p.m. from courtside at the Wells Fargo Center with host Rachel Nichols and ESPN analysts Jalen Rose, and Jay Williams.

Hoop Streams will be live from the arena on the ESPN App, and ESPN’s Twitter and YouTube platforms beginning at 8 p.m. with host Cassidy Hubbarth and ESPN NBA analysts Kendrick Perkins and Amin Elhassan.

NBA on ESPN Special Night

In a special Sunday edition of NBA on ESPN, Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans return to ESPN to face Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics. The matchup begins at 6 p.m. from Smoothie King Center with Mark Jones, Hubie Brown and Jorge Sedano calling the action.

Date Time (ET) Game Commentators  Network(s)
Wed, Jan. 22 7 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors Ryan Ruocco, Doris Burke ESPN, ESPN App
Wed, Jan. 22 9:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Pelicans Dave Pasch, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Tom Rinaldi ESPN, ESPN App
Fri, Jan. 24 8 p.m. LA Clippers at Miami Heat Dave Pasch, Chauncey Billups, Ariel Helwani ESPN, ESPN App
Sat, Jan. 25 8:30 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at Philadelphia 76ers Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Israel Gutierrez, Steve Javie   ABC, ESPN App
Sun, Jan. 26 6 p.m. Boston Celtics at New Orleans Pelicans Mark Jones, Hubie Brown, Jorge Sedano ESPN, ESPN App

The daily edition of The Jump, ESPN’s daily NBA news and discussion show, airs Monday through Friday at 3 p.m. Friday’s show will feature Nichols’ full one-on-one interview with eight-time NBA All Star and Lakers center Dwight Howard. This week’s cast includes:

Monday 01/20: Rachel Nichols, Brian Windhorst, David Fizdale

Tuesday 01/21: Brian Windhorst, Tracy McGrady, David Fizdale

Wednesday 01/22: Rachel Nichols, Brian Windhorst, Tracy McGrady

Thursday 01/23: Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady, Richard Jefferson

Friday 01/24: Jorge Sedano, Scottie Pippen, David Fizdale

NBA digital content is available on the NBA section of ESPN.com, including this week’s NBA Power Rankings.

All ESPN and ABC games are 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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