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ESPN and ABC To Air Five NBA Games on Christmas Day 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 10:35 AM, under , , , , ,

ESPN and ABC will be airing five NBA games on Christmas Day. They must know something others don't if they are going to saturate a holiday and holy day with so much commercialism. But then again, this is Christmas we are talking about, and ESPN is a commercial entity.

Here is the release from ESPN.

NBA Christmas Day – Five Games Highlighted by Cavs vs. Lakers on ABC

Magic Johnson Goes One-on-One with Kobe

Special Christmas Day NBA Version of “Streak for the Cash”

ESPN and ABC will present five NBA games on Christmas Day, highlighted by a contest between two of the world’s biggest sports superstars – LeBron James and Kobe Bryant – when the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Los Angeles Lakers Friday, Dec. 25, at 5 p.m. ET on ABC. Mike Breen will call the game with analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Lisa Salters.

In the first half of the NBA doubleheader on ABC, the Boston Celtics and Paul Pierce will play the defending Eastern Conference Champion Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard at 2:30 p.m. ET. Mike Tirico will provide commentary with analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Heather Cox.

Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who will team with Mike Wilbon and host Stuart Scott for the GMC NBA Countdown pregame show (2 p.m.), will have an interview with Kobe Bryant at halftime of the Cavaliers/Lakers game. Other ABC studio coverage highlights:

* Orlando’s Dwight Howard recap of season (to date);
* Boston Celtics star Ray Allen’s care for his diabetic son Walker;
* An all-access look inside the Lakers;
* EA Sports virtual playbook segment.

Christmas Day will tip off with the Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks at 12 p.m. on ESPN. After the ABC doubleheader, ESPN will present an evening doubleheader – the Los Angeles Clippers at the Phoenix Suns at 8 p.m., followed by the Denver Nuggets at the Portland Trail Blazers at 10:30 p.m. All ESPN telecasts will also be available via ESPN HD, and ESPN Mobile TV.

ESPN and ABC Christmas Day NBA schedule:

12 p.m.
Miami at New York

Dan Shulman, Doris Burke

ESPN HD,, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Deportes

2 p.m.
GMC NBA Countdown

Stuart Scott, Magic Johnson, Michael Wilbon


2:30 p.m.
Boston at Orlando

Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Heather Cox


5 p.m.
Cleveland at L.A. Lakers

Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters


Jim Durham, Dr. Jack Ramsay (ESPN Radio)

8 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Phoenix

Dave Pasch, Jon Barry

ESPN HD,, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Deportes

10:30 p.m.
Denver at Portland

Kevin Calabro, Tim Legler


Special Christmas Day NBA Version of Streak for the Cash

On Christmas Day, will feature a special NBA version of its popular Streak for the Cash pick'em game. Fans will be able to make as many as 15 picks – all related to the five Christmas Day NBA games – with the longest streak of correct picks for the day eligible for a $2,500 prize, along with a trip to the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas. In addition to, fans can also make their selections via mobile devices. For fans already playing Streak for the Cash, the Christmas Day picks will count toward their overall Streak and win totals as well.

Mariah Carey Contributes to Christmas Day Coverage

Mariah Carey, a five-time Grammy winner who has amassed 18 No. 1 singles during her career, has recorded a music video which will accompany ESPN’s NBA Christmas Day coverage. The music video features the holiday-themed “All I Want for Christmas is You,” which will air throughout the day on ESPN and ABC during NBA game and studio content. will feature a special Christmas Day edition of Daily Dime Live – interactive web coverage of all the Christmas Day games by ESPN reporters, analysts, bloggers from the TrueHoop Network. content will also include Five on Five, with’s top reporters answering five questions about the teams involved in the five Christmas Day games. Additional multimedia coverage: a conversations between Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson; a Lamar Odom barbershop feature; and a photo gallery of the 50 greatest L.A. Lakers.

The new site debuts Monday, Dec. 21, and will include live blogging by the Kamenetzky Brothers, as well as reporting by J.A. Adande and Dave McMenamin.

ESPN Classic

NBA Christmas Day Marathon (Thursday, Dec. 24, 2 p.m.-midnight):

2 p.m.
2006 Western Conference Semifinals, Game 5: Clippers vs. Suns

Shawn Marion scores 36 points to lead the Suns past the Clippers.

4 p.m.
2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 7: Knicks vs. Heat

The Knicks win, 83-82, to advance to the Conference Finals.

6 p.m.
2008 Cavaliers vs. Lakers

Cavs win 98-95 as LeBron James scores 41 points and Kobe
Bryant had 33.

8 p.m.
1995 Eastern Conference First Round, Game 4: Magic vs. Celtics

The final game at the old Boston Garden. The Magic win, 95-92.

10 p.m.
2004 Lakers vs. Cavaliers

Shaq scores 37 points as the Lakers beat the Cavs 111-106. 

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