ESPN to Debut New NBA Countdown Team During “Premiere Week” for its 20th Season of NBA Coverage


ESPN to Debut New NBA Countdown Team During “Premiere Week” for its 20th Season of NBA Coverage

New-Look Show to Feature Analysts Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon and Jalen Rose, Hosted by Mike Greenberg

  • Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson to Join the Team as Analyst for Marquee Events Throughout the Regular Season, NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals
  • Reporters Adrian Wojnarowski, Marc Spears and Malika Andrews to Make Regular Contributions to NBA Countdown
  • Wednesday Editions of NBA Countdown to Feature Analysts Richard Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins and WNBA Star Chiney Ogwumike, Hosted by Michael Eaves Starting in February

ESPN will debut a new NBA Countdown team during “premiere week” for its 20th season of NBA coverage. The new show will feature a high-profile, veteran team of analysts, including Stephen A. Smith, Curt Gowdy Media Award Winner Michael Wilbon and Jalen Rose, who returns for his 10th season of NBA Countdown. The show will be hosted by Mike Greenberg. The team will debut at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 20, prior to ESPN’s season-opening NBA doubleheader.

Additionally, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson will frequently appear as an analyst and will join the team for marquee events throughout the regular season, NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals.

The new team will serve as the on-site pregame and halftime show of the NBA Finals on ABC. The show will generally emanate from ESPN’s Seaport Studios in New York, N.Y. with select telecasts originating from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center. NBA Countdown generally begins on Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. on ESPN, Saturdays at 8 p.m. on ABC and Sunday afternoons on ABC. All shows are available to stream on the ESPN App.

Beginning in February, once the regular NBA on ABC package is underway, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Michael Eaves will host the Wednesday editions of NBA Countdown on ESPN. The show will be based at ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center with a trio of analysts – Richard Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins and WNBA star Chiney Ogwumike. Smith, Wilbon, Rose, Johnson and Greenberg will continue to handle Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows.

ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski and The Undefeated’s Marc Spears will regularly contribute to all editions of NBA Countdown. Wojnarowski will provide breaking news updates and Spears will contribute in-depth essays and profiles of the game’s most compelling stars. Additionally, Malika Andrews, who was recently named host of ESPN’s new weekday show NBA Today, will contribute exclusive, in-depth interviews with top stars and key personnel from around the league.

David Roberts, Senior Vice President, NBA and Studio Production:

“This incredible collection of NBA Countdown commentators are among the most respected and recognized in sports broadcasting and their accomplishments are well-documented. As we look ahead to a new era of ESPN NBA studio coverage, the focus, more than ever, will be to serve the NBA fan with smart, topical discussions, unmatched reporting and comprehensive game previews all season long. We look forward to great collaboration between our NBA Countdown and NBA Today teams as they get fans ready to watch the action on the court.”

The analyst trio of Perkins, Jefferson and Ogwumike, along with Vince Carter and Zach Lowe, will also help form the core cast of NBA Today, alongside host Andrews and reporters Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.

ESPN is celebrating the NBA’s 75th anniversary season throughout the 2021-22 campaign. Content will regularly appear within all of ESPN’s NBA coverage offerings. For ESPN’s full 2021-22 NBA schedule, visit ESPN Press Room.


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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