For the sixth consecutive year, ESPN will present live coverage of the NBA Draft – this year featuring a talent pool highlighted by Michael Beasley (Kansas State) and Derrick Rose (Memphis) – Thursday, June 26 at 7 p.m. ET from the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. Stuart Scott will host 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 analysis and Draft pick interviews by Stephen A. Smith; green room interviews by Doris Burke; and field reporters David Amber (Chicago), Colleen Dominguez (Seattle) and Wendi Nix (Tarrytown, N.Y., site of the Knicks’ training facility).
ESPN’s in-depth multimedia presentation of the NBA Draft (details outlined below) will also include a live broadcast on ESPN Radio; a live simulcast on ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV; SportsCenter Specials on ESPN June 23-25; expanded ESPNEWS coverage; ESPNU and ESPN International programming; ESPN Mobile Properties content; comprehensive reporting and analysis on ESPN.com; and an ESPN The Magazine Draft preview (on newsstands now).
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, for the first time, 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).
Featured NBA Draft production elements:
Jay Bilas’ in-depth analysis of the top prospects;
video conferencing with 14 team headquarters providing immediate access to the key team personnel in this year’s Draft;
more than 130 player highlight packages featuring top prospects;
“Draft Cam” from the Draft rooms of multiple teams, including the Chicago Bulls with the No. 1 pick, providing a unique window to the decision makers as they make their selection;
behind-the-scenes video of prospects as they endure testing and measurements at the Orlando Pre-Draft camp;
a special production shoot involving several of the top players (click here to preview) in the Draft including D.J. Augustin, Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Eric Gordon, Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, O.J. Mayo and Derrick Rose 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;
Stephen A. Smith will conduct interviews with the NBA draftees on site once they are selected;
Doris Burke 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;
David Amber will report from Chicago with news associated with the Bulls, the team with the first overall selection in the Draft;
Colleen Dominguez will report from Seattle, with the SuperSonics possessing six Draft picks;
Wendi Nix will report from Tarrytown, N.Y., the site of the Knicks’ training facility. The Knicks, under new coach Mike D’Antoni, hold the No. 6 pick in the Draft.
2008 NBA Draft Preview – June 25 at 10 p.m.
Stuart Scott, Jay Bilas, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy will preview the NBA Draft in a live program on ESPN Wednesday, June 25 at 10 p.m. from Madison Square Garden. Analyst Fran Fraschilla and reporters Ric Bucher and Andy Katz will also contribute to the telecast. The one-hour preview will include live interviews with prospects, features, athlete profiles and in-depth analysis of team needs.
ESPN Radio’s exclusive, live national coverage of the NBA Draft will tip off June 26 at 7:20 p.m. with Marc Kestecher hosting and Will Perdue, Steve Lavin and Doug Gottlieb providing analysis and player profiles. ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ric Bucher will serve as on-site reporter providing behind-the-scenes information.
SportsCenter Specials June 23-25
ESPN will televise a 60-minute SportsCenter Special Monday, June 23 at 10 p.m., along with 90-minute SportsCenter Specials on Tuesday, June 24, at 1:30 p.m. (re-aired at 7:30 p.m.) and Wednesday, June 25, at 1 p.m. offering a preview of the NBA Draft. Matt Winer will host the shows with analysts Jalen Rose (Monday and Tuesday) and Tim Legler (Wednesday) and reporter Chris Broussard.
ESPNEWS will offer extensive Draft coverage with daily content during The Hot List (3-6 p.m.) including analysis from Jay Bilas and Fran Fraschilla and reporters Andy Katz and Ric Bucher. UCLA head coach Ben Howland will contribute to ESPNEWS’ Draft coverage on Thursday, June 26. Thursday’s coverage will also include: interviews with Draft prospects Michael Beasley, Kevin Love and Derrick Rose; video conferencing from team headquarters; and on-site reports from David Amber (Chicago), Colleen Dominguez (Seattle) and Wendi Nix (New York).
ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network, will televise a two-day “Draft Cram Session” starting Wednesday, June 25 at 6 a.m. through Thursday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. The specially themed programming block will showcase a variety of games featuring many of the 2008 Draft prospects.
ESPN International will offer a live telecast of the NBA Draft in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The telecast will be preceded by a special 30-minute preview show.
Content leading up to the Draft:
Reporters Chad Ford, Andy Katz, Chris Sheridan and Marc Stein on the latest Draft news, trade talk and relative storylines;
Chad Ford and Bill Simmons pick-by-pick NBA Mock Draft debate (June 24);
Chad Ford’s Mock Draft 6.0 (June 23) and 7.0 (June 26, with updates throughout the day), including his predictions for all first- and second-round picks;
Ford’s “Daily Dish” podcast with NBA Draft insiders;
John Hollinger’s Draft Rater – Hollinger’s new formula which projects NBA performance for college prospects and international players;
Mock Draft Machine, which allows users to be the general manager for each franchise;
Video breakdown of all the top NBA Draft prospects;
ESPN.com Original Digital video feature “The Rookie: Michael Beasley.” Go behind the scenes with this year’s hot draft prospect, plus read his blog at ESPNMag.com;
TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott interviews Draft prospects leading up to the draft;
Conversation pages for each team’s fans to discuss the Draft.
Content on Draft night:
ESPN.com NBA Draftcast, a real-time application displaying picks, stats, analysis, chats and videos;
Chats with players right after they are selected in the Draft;
Chad Ford’s pick-by-pick instant analysis;
Ford’s team-by-team draft grades;
Gene Wojciechowski reports from the Chicago Bulls offices;
Live chats between Draft picks;
Live SportsNation polling;
Andy Katz’s Draft recap;
TrueHoop Draft blog;
ESPN Radio live streaming Draft coverage;
ESPN television interviews with top picks;
Conversation pages for each team fans to discuss team prospects and position.
Bill Simmons’ NBA Draft Diary;
2009 NBA Draft Index;
2009 NBA Draft Top 100;
Conversation pages for each team fans to discuss team prospects and position.
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.
ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Magazine’s current issue (on newsstands now) offers a preview of the NBA Draft including: a cover story on top candidate Michael Beasley written by Chris Palmer; a recap of Courtney Lee’s (Western Kentucky) pre-Draft workout tour; and a Mock Draft by Ric Bucher.