ESPN & ABC Combine to Exclusively Televise All Five NBA Christmas Day Games Presented by State Farm on Saturday, December 25


ESPN & ABC Combine to Exclusively Televise All Five NBA Christmas Day Games Presented by State Farm on Saturday, December 25

Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers Meet for the First Time this Season in Primetime ABC Matchup with Commentary from Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Lisa Salters

  • NBA Countdown Team to Tip Off Christmas Day Coverage with Two-hour Show Beginning at 10 a.m. ET
  • Emmy Nominated Comedian Tracy Morgan to Star in NBA Countdown Christmas Day Broadcast Open
  • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to Join NBA Today Tuesday, December 21
  • NBA Today Christmas Eve Special to Tipoff Weekend Coverage
  • ESPN and the NBA to Host Holiday Fan Activations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix with Special Appearances by EMPIRE Talent Money Man and Yung Bleu

ESPN and ABC’s Christmas Day tradition continues for the 20th consecutive season on Saturday, December 25, with approximately 13 consecutive hours of live NBA coverage featuring the league’s best teams. ESPN and ABC platforms will combine to televise all five NBA games presented by State Farm. All games and shows will also stream via the ESPN App.

The primetime game begins at 8 p.m., featuring the highly anticipated matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets. This marks the first time the two teams meet on the court this season. The NBA Finals broadcast team of Curt Gowdy Media Award winning play-by-play commentator Mike Breen and analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson will be on site to call the action with journalist and sideline reporter Lisa Salters. This matchup will air on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC’s exclusive tripleheader begins at 2:30 p.m. when the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks host the Boston Celtics. Dave Pasch will provide commentary with Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Hubie Brown and sideline reporter Jorge Sedano. The two teams with the best records go head-to-head for the third time this season beginning at 5 p.m. when the Golden State Warriors visit the defending Western Conference Finals Champion Phoenix Suns. This will be the third meeting of the season between the two teams, with each team having won one game on their home court. Veteran ESPN play-by-play commentator Mark Jones will call the action with Curt Gowdy Media Award winning analyst Doris Burke and reporter and host of NBA Today Malika Andrews.

The Christmas Day slate presented by State Farm tips off exclusively on ESPN with a traditional afternoon Christmas Day game from Madison Square Garden. Beginning at 12 p.m. ET, the New York Knicks host the Atlanta Hawks in a rematch of their 2021 Eastern Conference Playoff series. Ryan Ruocco will provide commentary with eight-time NBA All-Star and analyst Vince Carter and sideline reporter Cassidy Hubbarth. ESPN will bookend Christmas coverage with a Western Conference matchup at 10:30 p.m., featuring the Dallas Mavericks and the Utah Jazz. Play-by Play commentator Beth Mowins will call the action with NBA Champion and analyst Richard Jefferson and sideline reporter Israel Gutierrez. The matchup will air exclusively on ESPN in the Dallas market.

Steve Javie will be available to provide officiating analysis and reaction from the NBA Replay Center for the ABC tripleheader and Hawks vs. Knicks.

NBA Countdown on Christmas Day

NBA Countdown presented by Mountain Dew, featuring high-profile analysts Stephen A. Smith, Curt Gowdy Media Award-winner Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose and host Mike Greenberg, will tip off Christmas Day coverage at 10 a.m. on ESPN with a live special two-hour show. The NBA Countdown presented by Papa John’s team will tipoff ABC’s coverage with a 30-minute show at 2 p.m. and return to ABC at 7:30 p.m. with an additional 30-minture show prior to the primetime Nets vs. Lakers game. The shows will preview all five matchups, discuss the biggest headlines across the league and feature exclusive interviews from the stars of Christmas Day. The team will also provide halftime reports throughout the day. Comedian Tracy Morgan opens the show digging deep in his holiday bag to give out special NBA gifts – previewing all of the day’s biggest matchups.

Hoop Streams

Hoop Streams presented by State Farm, ESPN’s digital NBA pre-game show, will precede the primetime game beginning at 7:30 p.m. ESPN’s Chiney Ogwumike and Christine Williamson will preview the game action for Hoop Streams with additional commentary from top NBA analysts, reporters and special guests. The show is available on the ESPN App, and ESPN’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube platforms.

ESPN Radio

ESPN Radio will broadcast a Christmas Day doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. Sean Kelley and analyst Ros Gold-Onwude will describe the Warriors vs. Suns game and Marc Kestecher and analyst P.J. Carlesimo will follow with Nets vs. Lakers. Studio coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Monica McNutt and Kevin Winter.

Time (ET) Telecast Commentators Platform(s)
10 a.m. NBA Countdown presented by Mountain Dew Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose, Mike Greenberg ESPN, ESPN App,
12 p.m. Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks Ryan Ruocco, Vince Carter, Cassidy Hubbarth, Steve Javie ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
2 p.m. NBA Countdown presented by Papa John’s Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose, Mike Greenberg ABC, ESPN App
2:30 p.m. Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks Dave Pasch, Hubie Brown, Jorge Sedano, Steve Javie ABC, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes
5 p.m. Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Malika Andrews, Steve Javie ABC, ESPN App, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes
7:30 p.m. NBA Countdown presented by Papa John’s Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose, Mike Greenberg ABC, ESPN App
8 p.m. Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters, Steve Javie ABC, ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes
10:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz Beth Mowins, Richard Jefferson, Israel Gutierrez ESPN, ESPN App, ESPN Deportes

NBA Today Christmas Eve

NBA Today, ESPN’s weekday NBA studio show hosted by Malika Andrews, will feature a special Christmas Eve show on Friday, December 24, beginning at 3 p.m. The show will feature in-depth previews of each Christmas Day matchup from a panel of analysts with contributions from NBA top reporters. The Christmas Eve show will include special segments, essays, and clips of exclusive player interviews. Analysts Richard Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins and Chiney Ogwumike and reporters Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe and Ramona Shelburne will round out the cast.

Tuesday’s edition of NBA Today will feature an exclusive interview with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver ahead of ESPN and ABC’s Christmas Day coverage. Stories Leading Into Christmas Day

Wednesday, December 23- With Staples Center set to change its name on Christmas Day, what were the greatest sports moments under the soon-to-be-defunct moniker?

Thursday, December 24- Zach Lowe has a Christmas special of 10 things he likes and doesn’t like about the teams playing on Christmas Day.

ESPN Cover Story: Trae Young
For the December edition of ESPN’s Cover Story – the sports fan’s monthly ticket to the biggest stories on the most captivating athletes told with inside access, bold reporting and unforgettable visuals – ESPN writer Dotun Akintoye will feature Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young. More details on the cross-platform story will be announced soon.

Holiday Fan Activations

In the days leading up to the star-studded NBA Christmas Day lineup, ESPN – in partnership with the NBA – are launching on-site events in key cities including Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and the Bay Area.

On Tuesday, December 21, rappers Money Man and Yung Bleu will make an appearance outside of the newly named Arena for a special performance of their new custom NBA on ESPN Christmas Day track “FANS GO CRAZY”. On Thursday, December 23, in celebration of ESPN and ABC’s Christmas Day slate, the Harlem Gospel Choir will perform holiday song sets in Times Square on the top of a double deck bus.

Additional surprise guests are expected to participate in the activations, along with premium giveaways – led by an exclusive, holiday-themed sneaker drop in LA on Dec. 21 in partnership with livestream shopping and entertainment platform NTWRK.

All ESPN and ABC NBA 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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