• ESPN’s Largest On Site NBA Finals Presence Yet with NBA Countdown, Ball or Nothin’, The Jump, Hoop Streams, SportsCenter, First Take and more
For the 17th consecutive year, ESPN will air the NBA Finals starting Friday, May 31, at 11am AEST. This year, the Golden State Warriors – led by Stephen Curry – return to the NBA Finals for the fifth straight season as they square off with the Toronto Raptors and Kawhi Leonard. NBA Countdown precedes coverage of the games at 10:30am.
ESPN’s record-setting NBA Finals broadcast team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Doris Burke return to call this year’s event. Here are broadcasting records this team has set:
• 14th year that Mike Breen has provided play-by-play
• 13th year that Jeff Van Gundy has served as game analyst
• 11th year Mark Jackson has served as game analyst – the most for an African-American game analyst for any major North American sports championship event
• 11th year Doris Burke has been the broadcast reporter for the event, a record for a woman in a prominent NBA Finals on-air role
In addition to the game broadcasts, ESPN will have its largest presence yet at the NBA Finals this year with more shows and personnel on site than ever before. NBA Countdown, Ball or Nothin’, The Jump, Hoop Streams, SportsCenter and First Take will all document the event from Toronto and Golden State.
NBA Countdown will once again serve as the pregame show for the NBA Finals, 30 minutes prior to tip off. Michelle Beadle, in her third year as NBA Countdown host at the NBA Finals, will lead the team, including veteran analyst and Fab Five member Jalen Rose, and NBA Finals MVPs Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups.
The Jump, ESPN’s daily NBA show, will air every game day at 10am on ESPN and will be open to the public while on location at the NBA Finals. Rachel Nichols hosts The Jump with a cast of high profile analysts and reporters. The show will be live from Maple Leaf Square (Jurassic Park) outside ScotiaBank Arena for Raptors home games and Lake Chalet in Oakland when the series shifts to the west coast.
*Please note: Game 2 will not feature The Jump, only Countdown at 9:30am. Game 7 will feature The Jump at 9am and Countdown will air at 9:30am.
Hoop Streams – ESPN’s innovative, new NBA Twitter pre-game show – will also be on site for live, courtside shows during the NBA Finals, generally starting an hour before tipoff. Cassidy Hubbarth hosts Hoop Streams with special guests, including Kendrick Perkins, Gary Striewski and more.
SportsCenter will once again travel for on-site shows throughout the NBA Finals. Several of ESPN’s top NBA analysts and reporters will appear on SportsCenter during the event.
Ball or Nothin’
Ball or Nothin’ will once again continue through the NBA Finals, extending to a 15-minute preshow before Games 2 and 7. Hosted by ESPN’s Nick Metallinos and Freddy Lomeli, this exclusive show produced by ESPN Australia/New Zealand takes a unique look at what is happening around the culture of basketball and the NBA Finals. Filmed from Toronto and Oakland the guys will discuss all the things going on at the intersection of the NBA and pop-culture, fashion, sneakers, music and social media.
Beginning Friday, May 31, ESPN’s popular morning debate show First Take – with Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and host Molly Qerim Rose – will be live from Maple Leaf Square (Jurassic Park) outside ScotiaBank Arena for Raptors home games and Lake Chalet in Oakland when the series shifts to the west coast. From 12am to 2am AEST on ESPN before shifting to ESPN2 for Games 3-6, the First Take team will offer their expert insight and opinions while also welcoming a full lineup of athletes and celebrity guests.
Visit ESPN.com and the ESPN App for the game around the game coverage including: game video highlights, reaction and analysis, as well as written pieces from the biggest names in basketball. Plus, Golden State Warriors Aussie Star Andrew Bogut chats to ESPN as he looks to win a second NBA championship.
ESPN’s networks are available to subscribers on Foxtel, Kayo Sport, Fetch and Sky New Zealand.