The third season of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC is here and here’s everything you need to know with a little help from Jalen Rose!
The third season of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by YouTube TV launches January 20 with two blockbuster games, including a special matinee broadcast. First, the Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Oklahoma City Thunder in an NBA Saturday Primetime Special on ABC at 3:30 PM ET. Then, at 8:30 PM ET defending NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors visit the Houston Rockets. Mark Jones, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and analyst Hubie Brown, and reporter Israel Gutierrez will provide commentary for the first game. Following the Cavs/Thunder game, the longest-tenured NBA Finals broadcast team — Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson – will commentate with reporter Lisa Salters. ESPN NBA officiating expert Steve Javie will also contribute analysis on NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC broadcasts from the NBA Replay Center. All NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC are also available on the ESPN App! Click here for photos of the NBA’s latest campaign — This Is Why We Play.
NBA Countdown, ESPN and ABC’s NBA pre-game show, will air at 8 PM each Saturday night, before the game. Michelle Beadle, who will serve as host of NBA Countdown for the second year, will be joined by a stellar group of analysts, including NBA veteran and famed member of “The Fab Five” Jalen Rose, and former NBA Finals M.V.P.’s Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce. Rose EXCLUSIVELY previewed the primetime special when speaking with HollywoodLife.com ahead of the games. “We’re debuting our Saturday slate of basketball games and it’s almost like as the season progresses, that’s when the NBA really continues to up the anti as it relates to taking its turn in the sports paradigm,” he explained. “So, almost for casual NBA fans, it seems like Christmas day is a major day for ESPN and ABC to amp up our NBA coverage. But, once the college football playoff happens in early January and then you lose college football, we pick it up a little bit more, and that’s what we’re doing with NBA Primetime on ABC. It’s going to be very exciting for fans and the NBA has been on fire.” Rose teased this weekend’s games as a back-to-back lineup that will outshine all major metropolitan sports, from the game to its stars — LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant.
The broadcasts will give viewers the best angles, shots and overall coverage with the use of I-MOVIX cameras. Adding to the experience, select players and coaches will be mic’d up for the games, giving fans an up-close-and-personal look into the action.
Rose went on to discuss how the NBA has evolved, and moved past other sports in terms of popularity and as staple in pop culture today. “The NBA has been able to distinguish itself from the other sports … In terms of the popularity of the game, and what’s now and what’s next, and where are the kids on the playground saying who they want to be like, and if you look at the popularity on social media of the NBA players as well as the commercials and endorsements of NBA players versus other sports, the NBA has continued to skyrocket to another plateau, leaving the other major sports online.” He added, “The NBA flourishes because it creates stars within the game that have transcended the score.”
Rose — who founded the Jalen Rose Achievement Academy in his native, Detroit — complimented the league and its players for their charitable efforts with NBA Cares. “I find a sense of pride when I see LeBron James open up a school in his hometown,” he said.
Check out the full schedule below!
Oklahoma City Thunder at Cleveland Cavaliers
|Jan. 20||Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets|
|Jan. 27||Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors|
|Feb. 3||Houston Rockets at Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Feb. 10||San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors|
|Feb. 24||Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors|
|Mar. 3||Boston Celtics at Houston Rockets|
|Mar. 10||San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Apr. 7||Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets|
HollywoodLifers, who do you have?