NEW YORK, Aug. 6, 2008 – The NBA today released its complete game schedule and broadcast schedules of ABC, TNT, ESPN and NBA on ESPN Radio for the 2008-09 season.
The NBA's Countdown to Tip-Off 08 presented by Kia Motors has begun with opening night 83 days away.
The 2008-09 season tips off on TNT, which marks Turner Sports’ 25th season of NBA game action, with a doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 28, that features the Boston Celtics opening up defense of their NBA championship by hosting 2007-08 NBA scoring champion LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at 8 p.m. ET. The second game features the first regular season game for the top overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft presented by Sprite Greg Oden and the Portland Trail Blazers as they visit reigning MVP presented by Kia Motors Kobe Bryant and the 2008 NBA Finals runner-up Los Angeles Lakers at 10:30 p.m. ET. TNT’s coverage of the Cavaliers-Celtics game will also feature the championship ring ceremony for the Celtics beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
ESPN’s game coverage begins with a doubleheader on Wednesday, Oct. 29, beginning at 8 p.m. ET as the San Antonio Spurs and their trio of stars – Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker – host the Phoenix Suns and their triumvirate of Steve Nash, Shaquille O’Neal and Amaré Stoudemire. The nightcap features an intra-city battle as the new-look Los Angeles Clippers, led by Baron Davis, host the Lakers at 10:30 p.m. ET.
On Thursday, Oct. 30, TNT presents a doubleheader featuring four of the Western Conference’s premier teams. Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets take on in-state rival the Dallas Mavericks, led by 2006-07 MVP Dirk Nowitzki, at 8 p.m. ET. The second game features All-Stars Chris Paul and David West and the New Orleans Hornets heading to Phoenix to match up against two-time MVP Steve Nash and the Suns at 10:30 p.m. ET.
NBA Tip-off 08 presented by Kia Motors continues on Friday, Oct. 31 with ESPN’s second doubleheader of the opening week. At 8 p.m. ET, the 2008 overall No. 1 pick Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls travel to take on the world champion Celtics, led by All-Stars Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The second game features the up-and-coming Trail Blazers hosting perennial contender San Antonio at 10:30 p.m. ET.
NBA TV tips off its regular season coverage with a double-header on Saturday, Nov. 1. The first game features last season’s Eastern Conference Finalist Detroit Pistons hosting Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and the rest of the Washington Wizards at 7:30 p.m. ET. Game 2 heads to the desert, as the Trail Blazers travel to Phoenix to battle the Suns at 10 p.m. ET.
NBA TV’s complete 96-game schedule will be announced at a later date.
For the first time ever, the NBA’s three national television partners – ABC, ESPN and TNT – will each televise games on Christmas Day.
The action tips off on ESPN at 12 p.m. ET, between two of the league’s most exciting teams when All-Star Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic play host to the Hornets, among the league’s best road teams last season.
ABC introduces its NBA game coverage with a Dec. 25 doubleheader. At 2:30 p.m. ET, the Suns and Spurs tip off in Phoenix, while the second game features the first meeting between last season’s Finals participants as the Celtics travel to Staples Center to take on the Lakers at 5 p.m. ET. The ABC national television schedule consists of 18 exclusive regular-season broadcasts, including game action on eight consecutive NBA Sundays from Feb. 22 through the end of the regular season. The NBA on ABC presents flexible scheduling throughout the regular season in order to provide the most compelling matchups to a national audience.
Later that evening, TNT broadcasts a doubleheader, beginning at 8 p.m. ET, when the Wizards and their trio of stars travel to Cleveland to face James and the Cavaliers. The second game features Portland, with 2006-07 T-Mobile Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy, hosting the Mavericks and perennial All-Stars Jason Kidd and Nowitzki at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Among other highly anticipated television matchups throughout the regular season:
* In a meeting between former Rookies of the Year, Elton Brand leads the new-look Philadelphia 76ers into Orlando to battle Howard’s Magic on Thursday, Nov. 6 (TNT, 8 p.m. ET).
* The league’s top two picks in the 2008 NBA Draft presented by Sprite square off when Michael Beasley and the Miami Heat host Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls on Friday, Dec. 26 (ESPN, 5 p.m. ET).
* In a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, on Wednesday, Jan. 14, Bryant leads the Lakers into San Antonio to take on the Spurs, the team they vanquished from the playoffs, denying the Spurs a chance at repeating as champions. (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET).
* On Sunday Jan. 19, the league’s two top leading scorer’s last season go head-to-head when Bryant, the runner-up in the scoring race, and the Lakers take on James and the Cavaliers at Staples Center (TNT, 10:30 p.m. ET).
ESPN networks are televising 72 regular-season games, which include 29 games on Wednesdays and 35 on Fridays. The slate consists of 27 doubleheaders.
TNT is televising 53 regular-season games, including 47 as part of Thursday night doubleheaders and a tripleheader on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. TNT also exclusively televises NBA All-Star 2009 festivities in Phoenix from Feb. 13-15, culminating with the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15.
The NBA on ESPN Radio’s 26-game regular-season schedule begins opening night with the Celtics hosting the Cavaliers. The NBA on ESPN Radio will also broadcast all the events from NBA All-Star 2009 in Phoenix.
For the sixth straight season, ABC will exclusively broadcast The Finals, which tips off in June 2009. This season, TNT is the exclusive home of the 2009 NBA Eastern Conference Finals and ESPN and ABC exclusively televise the 2009 NBA Western Conference Finals.
NBA.com offers day-by-day and team-by-team schedules as well as regular-season telecast schedules of the league’s North American broadcast partners – ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TV, and the NBA on ESPN Radio.
NBA games and programming are currently seen in 215 countries and territories in 41 languages.