By Ryan Berenz
The NBA Draft takes place, Thursday, June 23, at 7pm ET from Newark’s Prudential Center, and ESPN has the event covered. I won’t attempt to analyze this draft — I’ll leave that to the fine folks at Deadspin, who’ve compiled pretty much all you need to know about the prospects. But I am well aware that this is not going to be a Draft for the Ages. Still, many of you are into this type of stuff and can’t get enough Jimmer Fredette, so we’ll give you all the where-to-watch type info. Here is the press release from ESPN with all their coverage details across all platforms:
ESPN to Present 2011 NBA Draft Presented by Kia Motors
ESPN, ESPN Radio, ESPN3.com & ESPN Mobile TV to Provide Live Draft Coverage
ESPN will present live coverage of the 2011 NBA Draft Presented by Kia Motors – ESPN’s ninth consecutive year televising the event – Thursday, June 23, at 7 p.m. ET from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Stuart Scott will host ESPN’s coverage of the 65th annual Draft with college basketball analyst and Draft expert Jay Bilas and analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Jon Barry. Additionally, Fran Fraschilla will offer analysis on the international prospects, with as many as eight expected to be drafted in the first round this year.
Additional contributors will include:
- Mark Jones conducting interviews with the NBA draftees on site once they are selected;
- Heather Cox interviewing key figures (players, their families, college coaches, etc.) in the green room;
- ESPN analyst Tom Penn offering perspective on salary cap situations, including the impact a new collective bargaining agreement could have on the league and a team’s draft approach;
- ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ric Bucher covering breaking NBA news, including trade talks;
- ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz reporting on breaking Draft news, along with information pertaining to college players;
- Jeannine Edwards reporting from Cleveland, with the Cavaliers holding the first and fourth picks in the Draft;
- Rachel Nichols reporting from Tarrytown, N.Y., the location of the New York Knicks practice facility;
- Kevin Connors conducting interviews with general managers and head coaches from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn.
- ESPN’s Draft telecast will display continuous graphics providing the latest information including picks, trades, team-by-team summaries, Bilas’ “Best Available” prospects, Fraschilla’s top international prospects, player stats, team needs and the results of ESPN.com’s interactive polling in real time. The graphics will continue to be seen during commercial breaks.
Additional production elements:
- Bilas’ in-depth analysis of the top prospects;
- video conferencing from the headquarters of 16 teams (Cleveland, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Golden State, Miami, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, Utah and Washington), providing immediate access to key team personnel;
- highlight packages featuring all of the top prospects;
- “Draft Cam” from the draft rooms of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz, the teams holding the top four picks in the Draft;
- behind-the-scenes video of prospects as they endured the draft combine in Chicago;
- Sport Science segments featuring Derrick Williams, Brandon Knight, Kawhi Leonard, Tristan Thompson and the Morris twins (Marcus and Markieff);
- a special production shoot – set to recording artist Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” track and voiced over by actor Taye Diggs – involving several of the top players.
- ESPN will televise three Draft preview shows – Monday, June 20, at 11 p.m. and Tuesday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2 and Wednesday, June 22, at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
NBA Draft on ESPN Radio
ESPN Radio will exclusively broadcast the NBA Draft Presented by Kia Motors, with host Marc Kestecher and analysts Will Perdue and Doug Gottlieb, at 7 p.m. Ric Bucher will also report news and information for ESPN Radio.
Additional ESPN multiplatform NBA Draft coverage:
SportsCenter & ESPNEWS
SportsCenter, ESPNEWS and other ESPN news and information programming will offer extensive Draft coverage with daily content including analysis, interviews with draft prospects, video conferencing from team headquarters and on-site reports.
Draft content will include:
- Draft Tracker – ESPN.com NBA Draft expert Chad Ford analyzing each pick and trades;
- DraftCast – a special interactive application which displays each pick in real time, plays video highlights of each player selected, shows fan comments, and posts polls;
- Player chats – after each player is selected, he will chat with fans on ESPN.com;
- Daily Dime Draft Night Live – ESPN.com reporters, analysts and bloggers sharing their thoughts on the Draft and answering fan questions;
- Interviews with NBA executives from the team headquarters;
- Video – ESPN.com video interviews of players once they are drafted;
- Draft grades – Ford grading each team’s draft night performance.
Michelle Smith will preview the Draft and espnW contributor Jane McManus will blog and tweet from the Draft, while also conducting interviews with select draftees.
Mobile ESPN Properties
In addition to a live simulcast of the Draft, ESPN Mobile TV’s coverage will feature breaking news updates, instant analysis and a ScoreCenter recap. Additionally, ESPN’s WAP site will have a special Draft section allowing fans to follow all the selections in real time. Fans will also be able to sign up for mobile alerts, which will provide up-to-the-minute selection updates and breaking news.
ESPN3.com will present live coverage of the NBA Draft Presented by Kia Motors beginning at 7 p.m. Fans on the go will also be able to tune into ESPN Mobile TV for live Draft coverage. Additionally, fans who receive their cable TV video subscription from an affiliated provider will be able to tune in live via the WatchESPN app on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
ESPN The Magazine
For the third straight year, ESPN The Magazine‘s current issue offers a mock draft with a current player from each franchise making the selections.
ESPN Classic – “Before They Were Pros”
In anticipation of the Draft, ESPN Classic will televise “Before They Were Pros,” select college basketball games featuring some of the players expected to be drafted. See the full schedule.
ESPN International will offer a live telecast of the Draft in the United Kingdom and Pacific Rim region.
Photo: Credit: Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI 132/Newscom