- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, ESPN Commentators in Studio
ESPN will exclusively televise the virtual 2020 NBA Draft presented by State Farm from its Bristol, Conn. campus on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. ET with pre-draft coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum will appear at the ESPN studios to announce the selections, while up to 60 draftees will appear virtually. This marks the first NBA Draft at ESPN’s studios and its 18th consecutive NBA Draft telecast overall. The NBA Draft will be available on ESPN, ESPN Radio and via the ESPN App.
Rece Davis will return to host ESPN’s coverage with an expert panel of commentators, including analysts Jay Bilas and Jay Williams, and NBA Draft analyst Mike Schmitz in studio on the main set. Additionally, ESPN NBA reporter Malika Andrews will serve as the NBA Draft telecast reporter for the first time. The team will conduct virtual interviews with several top draftees.
This year’s ESPN’s NBA Draft coverage will prioritize news and information as well as storytelling. ESPN commentary and vignettes will focus largely on the individual stories of top players. In addition, ESPN will document Draft headquarters activity for up to eight NBA teams. ESPN will also debut a new graphics and animation package for its 2020 NBA Draft telecast.
ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski will provide reports and news updates throughout the night from ESPN’s studios. ESPN NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks will also appear in studio and provide front office insights and commentary.
ESPN Radio will also nationally broadcast the 2020 NBA Draft. Marc Kestecher will describe the event with Curt Gowdy Media Award-winning analyst Doris Burke and fellow analysts P.J. Carlesimo and LaPhonso Ellis. Audio from ESPN Radio’s NBA Draft broadcast will be available to stream on the ESPN App.For the first time, ESPN’s Hoop Streams – its digital NBA show – will precede the NBA Draft. Cassidy Hubbarth hosts Hoop Streams with Omar Raja and Nabil Karim. The team will lead the show at ESPN’s studios starting at 7:30 p.m. Hoop Streams is available on ESPN’s Twitter, YouTube and Facebook platforms, as well as on the ESPN App.
ESPN host and journalist Rachel Nichols will conduct several virtual one-on-one interviews with potential top NBA Draft selections, including LaMelo Ball, that will air across ESPN platforms leading up to the NBA Draft.
ESPN’s 2020 NBA Draft telecast is also expected to include interviews with featured guests Steve Kerr and John Calipari.
Recording artist Judith Hill will be featured performing her song “Thank You” to tip off the NBA Draft telecast.
ESPN.com and digital content
ESPN.com will offer a wide variety of digital content leading into the 2020 NBA Draft:
- On Friday, Nov. 13, ESPN.com NBA reporter Royce Young will begin providing updates from the Minnesota Timberwolves Draft headquarters to explain to readers what goes into making a number one selection;
- On Monday, Nov. 16, a three-part Woj Pod series called “The Giannis Draft” will post, which includes an interview with Giannis Antetokounmpo and accompanying written content.
- On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the night of the NBA Draft, ESPN.com will offer its Draftcast with reaction from various reporters and voices.
Senior NBA writer Marc Spears will headline The Undefeated’s coverage of the 2020 NBA Draft, with contributions from senior writer Jerry Bembry and associate editor Martenzie Johnson;
- Like Father Like Son: The sons of three former NBA players are heading to the 2020 NBA Draft – Cole Anthony’s father is former New York Knick Greg Anthony; Brendan Bailey’s father Thurl Bailey played most of his career for the Utah Jazz; and Kenyon Jr.’s father is Kenyon Martin. Via a digital video story, Marc Spears explores each prospect’s road to the draft under the guidance of their fathers;
- Nigeria’s NBA Draft prospects: With seven prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft from Nigeria or born to parents from Nigeria, this year’s NBA Draft might set a record of players drafted from Africa and from the continent’s most-populous nation. Draft prospects, executives from Basketball Africa League and NBA Academy Africa executives discuss the growth of basketball in Africa, including the impact of current stars – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Victor Oladipo – on a new wave of Nigerians hoping to play in the NBA. Martenzie Johnson reports;
- The rise of Obi Toppin: Obadiah “Obi” Toppin did not play in a strong high school league. By the end of his senior year, he had zero Division I scholarship offers. Next week at the 2020 NBA Draft, Toppin, the 2020 National Player of the Year, is projected a lottery pick. Coaches who witnessed Toppin’s early struggles and rise to prominence examine the budding NBA star’s maturation. Reported by Jerry Bembry;
- Why Seattle is a hotbed for Black NBA players: Spears explains why Seattle, a city with a Black population of less than 10 percent, has become a hotbed for African American NBA talent.