I’ll readily admit that the NBA Draft is not something I typically take a great deal of interest in. This year, I am exceptionally disinterested because 1) This draft class is horrible, and 2) There will be no Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s draft coverage. Over the past few drafts, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society of Gentlemen and the work they’ve done at the NBA Draft.
Details of ESPN’s NBA Draft coverage (and last year’s awesome tribute to Cheez Doodles):
ESPN At 63rd Annual NBA Draft
Draft Televised in HD For First Time
For the seventh consecutive year, ESPN will provide exclusive live coverage of the NBA Draft Thursday, June 25, at 7pm ET from the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. ESPN’s NBA Draft telecast will be available in high definition — for the first time — on ESPN HD. Stuart Scott will host ESPN’s coverage with college basketball analyst and Draft expert Jay Bilas and NBA analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy. Additional contributors will include international basketball expert Fran Fraschilla; college basketball analyst Dick Vitale (via satellite); on-site reporters Ric Bucher and Andy Katz; on-site interviews by Mark Jones; green room interviews by Lisa Salters; and field reporter Rachel Nichols from Tarrytown, N.Y., site of the New York Knicks’ training facility.
ESPN’s Draft telecast will display a constant crawl on-screen graphic at all times — including during commercial breaks — continuously providing up-to-the-minute Draft updates including picks, trades, team-by-team summaries, player stats, the results of ESPN.com’s interactive polling in real time, Bilas’ “Best Available” prospects and Fraschilla’s top international prospects. The crawl will also feature team needs, which will include perspectives from Jackson and Van Gundy. Additionally, those viewing the NBA Draft via ESPN HD will have access to this information and more throughout the entire telecast (with information included within the side columns of the screen).
NBA Draft production elements:
- Jay Bilas’ in-depth analysis of the top prospects;
- video conferencing with 15 team headquarters (Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Indiana, Los Angeles Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Minnesota, New Jersey, Phoenix, Portland and Washington) providing immediate access to the key team personnel in this year’s Draft;
- “Draft Cam” from the Draft rooms of the Los Angeles Clippers (No. 1 pick in the Draft), Memphis Grizzlies (No. 2 Draft pick) and Minnesota Timberwolves (three first-round selections), providing a unique window to the decision makers as they make their selection;
- more than 130 player highlight packages featuring top prospects;
- behind-the-scenes video of prospects as they endure testing and measurements at the Chicago Pre-Draft camp;
- a special production shoot involving several of the top players in the Draft including Stephen Curry (Davidson), DeMar DeRozan (USC), Wayne Ellington (North Carolina), Tyreke Evans (Memphis), Jonny Flynn (Syracuse), Blake Griffin (Oklahoma), Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), James Harden (Arizona State), Jordan Hill (Arizona), Ty Lawson (North Carolina) and Hasheem Thabeet (UConn), providing content for a wide range of purposes – promotions, bumps, features, etc.
Draft commentator highlights:
- Dick Vitale, ESPN NCAA basketball analyst since 1979 and a former NBA coach, will appear via satellite;
- Fran Fraschilla, who has done extensive overseas scouting, will report on and evaluate the international field of players;
- Mark Jones will conduct interviews with the NBA draftees on site once they are selected;
- Lisa Salters will interview key figures (players, their families, college coaches, etc.) in the league’s Green Room;
- ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ric Bucher will cover breaking news, including trade talks;
- ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz will report on breaking NBA Draft news, along with information pertaining to college players;
- Rachel Nichols will report from Tarrytown, N.Y., the site of the Knicks’ training facility. The Knicks hold the No. 8 pick in the Draft.