NBA Season to Open with Christmas Day Showcase on ABC & ESPN
Christmas Day will mark the opening of the 2011-12 NBA season with a special showcase including a blockbuster doubleheader on ABC - a Finals rematch when the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki host the Miami Heat and All-Stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on Sunday, Dec. 25, at 2:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Chicago Bulls and league MVP Derrick Rose visiting the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant at 5 p.m. The Kia NBA Countdown pregame show will preview the ABC doubleheader at 2 p.m.
Additionally, ESPN will televise a primetime doubleheader tipping off with the Oklahoma City Thunder and last year's scoring leader Kevin Durant hosting the Orlando Magic and Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard at 8 p.m. In the nightcap, former ESPN analyst Mark Jackson will make his head coaching debut with the Golden State Warriors when they host the Los Angeles Clippers and All-Star Blake Griffin at 10:30 p.m. ESPN's doubleheader will also be available via ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV and the Watch ESPN App.
"Like all NBA fans, we're excited for the start of the season and are thrilled with our Christmas Day quadruple header," said Leah LaPlaca, vice president, programming. "There is no shortage of storylines - from the Finals rematch to some of the greatest stars in the league being on display - and we look forward to showcasing them while continuing the tradition of Christmas Day NBA games on ABC and ESPN."
"It's a different opening day than has ever happened in the past and Christmas Day games have always been a big day for the NBA," said Jeff Van Gundy, ESPN NBA analyst. "This unique situation combined with the unveiling of a championship banner for the Mavericks in a Finals rematch, and then to see the Lakers and the debut of Mike Brown as head coach, those things are all going to be very compelling."
NBA Christmas Day schedule - ABC & ESPN
2 p.m. ET Kia NBA Countdown ABC
2:30 p.m. Miami at Dallas ABC
5 p.m. Chicago at L.A. Lakers ABC
8 p.m. Orlando at Oklahoma City ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, Watch ESPN App
10:30 p.m. L.A. Clippers at Golden State ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Mobile TV, Watch ESPN App