Kia NBA Countdown – ESPN and ABC’s NBA pre-game show – will present a new look this season when Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose join NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Michael Wilbon. The new Countdown quartet, who will engage in the show’s lively roundtable format, will debut Friday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. ET during a special one-hour pre-game telecast, preceding ESPN’s season-opening doubleheader: Miami Heat/N.Y. Knicks at 8 p.m.; L.A. Clippers/L.A. Lakers at 10:30 p.m.
Mark Gross, ESPN Senior Vice President and Executive Producer, on Countdown team:
“The unique, diverse perspectives of our new commentator team fit perfectly with the show’s free-flowing format. Bill brings a deep knowledge of the league past and present, an entertaining style and an ability to articulate his inventive thoughts from a fan’s point of view. Jalen’s lengthy playing experience and his strong, informed opinions will give fans great insight into how and why things happen on the court. They join a team that includes one of the greatest players of all time and one of our most versatile and engaging commentators.”
Kia NBA Countdown guide
- Bill Simmons – author of The Book of Basketball – will make regular appearances during ESPN’s Wednesday and Friday NBA pre-game shows and ABC’s Sunday NBA pre-game shows.
- Jalen Rose will make regular appearances during ESPN’s Wednesday NBA pre-game shows and ABC’s Sunday NBA pre-game shows. Rose will also serve as a college basketball studio analyst for College GameDay and as an analyst for ESPN2’s Numbers Never Lie. He will appear on Friday’s NBA pre-game shows after the college basketball season.
- Magic Johnson will resume his role as a featured commentator on Countdown. Johnson will continue to provide expert insight and analysis, conduct interviews with the NBA’s biggest stars and contribute to the lively roundtable format.
- Michael Wilbon will continue his featured role on Countdown. Wilbon will add his journalistic insights and opinions on hot-button NBA topics, while helping to guide discussion and debate centered on the highest profile stories in the NBA.
- Jon Barry will transition to game analysis with regular assignments throughout the season, beginning Friday, Nov. 9, at 10:30 p.m. for Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets.
- Chris Broussard will continue to serve as ESPN NBA Insider for SportsCenter and other news and information programming. Broussard will also serve as reporter for ESPN’s game coverage, beginning Friday, Nov. 2, at 10:30 p.m. for Clippers/Lakers.
About Kia NBA Countdown
Kia NBA Countdown is the pre-game show for ESPN’s NBA games on Wednesdays and Fridays and NBA Sunday game broadcasts on ABC. Countdown is a lively roundtable format offering strong opinions, discussion and debate centered on the games about to tip off and top storylines around the league. As of the 2011-12 season, the show emanates from the ESPN Los Angeles Production Center at L.A. LIVE – across the street from STAPLES Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers.
2012-13 schedule: NBA on ESPN & ABC.