ABC & ESPN Team Up for Christmas Day NBA Coverage
ABC and ESPN will combine to present all five NBA Christmas Day Games on Wednesday, Dec. 25. The blockbuster schedule is highlighted by ABC's first two NBA broadcasts of the season - the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant visiting the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony at 2:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant hosting the two-time NBA Champion Miami Heat and reigning NBA MVP LeBron James at 5 p.m.
Mike Breen will join analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Lisa Salters to provide commentary for the Knicks-Thunder game, while Mike Tirico, analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Heather Cox will call the action for Heat-Lakers. In total, more than 30 ESPN NBA commentators will provide comprehensive Christmas Day coverage across ESPN and ABC platforms.
NBA on ESPN Christmas Day Coverage
ESPN's Christmas Day coverage will tip off at 12 p.m. with the Brooklyn Nets - led by Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce - hosting the Chicago Bulls with Joakim Noah and Luol Deng. Ryan Ruocco, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Chris Broussard will provide commentary for the telecast.
ESPN will resume its Christmas Day coverage with a Primetime doubleheader beginning at 8 p.m. when the Houston Rockets - led by Dwight Howard and James Harden - visit the defending Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Mark Jones, analyst George Karl and reporter Israel Gutierrez will call the action. The five-game docket concludes with the Golden State Warriors - led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson - hosting the Los Angeles Clippers with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin at 10:30 p.m. Dave Pasch and Jon Barry will provide commentary with reporter J.A. Adande.
The new NBA Countdown team - led by host Sage Steele with analysts Doug Collins, Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons -- will make its ABC debut on Christmas Day at 2 p.m., leading into the ABC doubleheader. ABC broadcasts will include Sprint half-time reports between both games. ESPN half-time shows with the Countdown crew are sponsored by Toyota.
Christmas Day Broadcast Open with Leona Lewis
Multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated recording artist Leona Lewis will lend her voice to the ABC and ESPN NBA Christmas Day broadcast open. Lewis' rendition of "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday," from her just-released, first-ever holiday album Christmas, With Love will be featured prominently in the broadcast open prior to each game, in Countdown and in promotional spots throughout the Christmas Day telecasts. Lewis is a three-time Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter and former X Factor UK winner who has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide.