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NBA on ESPN: Star-Studded Season-Opening Full Court Press


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  • Two Prime-time Doubleheaders Including the Defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Exclusive ESPN telecast Oct. 18 Featuring Top Draft Pick Markelle Fultz & Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Washington Wizards
  • Doris Burke Begins Full-time Game Analyst Role
  • Multiple NBA Champions, Hall-of-Famers and Acclaimed Journalists Part of ESPN’s NBA Coverage Team

The NBA is back on ESPN with a star-studded season-opening full court press, highlighted by two prime-time doubleheaders to help tip off the highly-anticipated 2017-18 regular-season. ESPN’s first telecast of the season will be an exclusive presentation as the Washington Wizards and John Wall host the Philadelphia 76ers and top NBA Draft pick Markelle Fultz, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The voice of the NBA, Mike Breen, will call the action with analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke. In the nightcap, the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard will host the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jimmy Butler at 9:30 p.m. Mark Jones will be joined by analyst Mark Jackson and reporter Cassidy Hubbarth to provide coverage.

ESPN will follow up with another doubleheader on Friday, Oct. 20, as both teams from the 2017 NBA Finals will be in action. First, at 7 p.m., the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James will visit the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Mike Breen, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall-of-Famer Hubie Brown and reporter Cassidy Hubbarth will have the call. At 9:30 p.m., the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and Kevin Durant will visit the New Orleans Pelicans and Anthony Davis. Doris Burke will have her first assignment in her new full-time role as a game analyst, alongside play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco and reporter Israel Gutierrez.

ESPN Radio will tip off its 2017-18 NBA slate on Tuesday, Oct. 17 as the Warriors open their title defense against the re-loaded Houston Rockets. The duo of Marc Kestecher and Jon Barry will describe the action at 10:30 p.m.

The NBA Countdown team – led by host Michelle Beadle – will provide studio halftime coverage for all four ESPN games next week. Beadle will be joined by ESPN’s newest NBA studio analyst, former NBA Finals M.V.P. Paul Pierce, as well as Jalen Rose, Chauncey Billups and Hall-of-Famer Tracy McGrady.

The Jump, hosted by Rachel Nichols, will air on ESPN each day at 3 p.m. from its studio in ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center. Nichols is regularly joined by a rotating cast of former players, including Hall-of-Famers and NBA Champions, and top NBA reporters. Next week’s guests include a diverse lineup of acclaimed journalists, NBA Champions and Hall-of-Famers, including Tracy McGrady, Scottie Pippen, Paul Pierce, Chauncey Billups, Byron Scott, Ramona Shelburne, Kevin Arnovitz, Zach Lowe, Amin Elhassan, and more.

Rachel Nichols conducted a special interview with new Cleveland Cavaliers’ teammates and long-time friends LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, which will air, in part, during halftime of ESPN’s Monday Night Football telecast on Oct. 16. A full version of the interview is scheduled to air within SportsCenter, following the Indianapolis Colts-Tennessee Titans Monday Night Football matchup, on ESPN.

First TakeESPN’s weekday morning studio debate show featuring commentators Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman with host Molly Qerim – is hitting the road for NBA tipoff shows. On Tuesday, Oct. 17, Stephen A. Smith will be live from the Town Hall Ohio City in Cleveland, Ohio, for the Cavaliers home opener. On Thursday, Oct. 19, and Friday, Oct. 20, the whole team will be live from the ESPN LAPC in Los Angeles for the Lakers’ home opener.

The show in Cleveland will be open to public and free of charge with doors opening at 8:30 a.m. The First Take team will be joined by special guests, based on the sites, including ESPN NBA analyst Tim Legler in Cleveland and actor Jamie Foxx and ESPN NBA analyst Byron Scott in Los Angeles.

Additionally, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Caribbean will televise nearly the entire 2017-18 ESPN NBA schedule, including the full season-opening lineup of games. More information on ESPN Caribbean’s coverage is available at ESPN Media Zone. All ESPN NBA games and shows are also available via the ESPN App.