NBA fans won’t be caught talking crochet with Aunt Millie this Christmas. Not if they’ve seen ESPN and ABC’s five-game December 25 schedule, which features a rematch of the 2016 Finals, a Boston-New York clash and the Battle of Los Angeles.
That’s just one part of the sprawling, 100-game regular-season NBA package the Disney corporate siblings unveiled today. It’s the most games ever slated for the networks. The schedule features 82 games on ESPN, which generally includes doubleheaders on Wednesday and Friday nights, and 18 on ABC. From January to April, the networks will combine to televise NBA games four days per week.
Expect plenty of appearances by the NBA’s elite teams and stars including LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers; Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors — joined this season by former OKC MVP Kevin Durant; the San Antonio Spurs, minus recent retiree Tim Duncan; and Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. There’s also the big-market usual suspects such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls.
The defending champion Cavaliers will be featured a league-leading six times, followed by the Warriors, Clippers and Spurs with five apiece.
Here’s a look at the Christmas Day, Saturday and Sunday NBA games set for ESPN or ABC: