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ESPN, ABC supply Christmas Day NBA feast; #StaplesSwitch on ESPN3


ESPN’s Christmas Day action tips off at noon with the Boston Celtics at the Brooklyn Nets followed by ABC’s doubleheader — New York Knicks at Los Angeles Lakers at 3 p.m. ET and an NBA Finals rematch of the Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat at 5:30 p.m.

Fans can tune in to ABC at 2:30 p.m. to catch the first look at a new KIA NBA Countdown set featuring new automated, mobile video monitors, LED center displays and more studio space.

“The gadgets, man, it’s going to blow people away. I can’t wait for Christmas Day,” Countdown analyst Earvin “Magic” Johnson said earlier this week. The new set design is based on ESPN’s new KIA NBA Countdown open package, which features moving images of NBA players.

Billy Crystal and Jeff Van Gundy
Billy Crystal and Jeff Van Gundy

Additionally, as part of ESPN’s blockbuster Christmas Day NBA coverage, ESPN3 will present a new take on the traditional holiday yulelog, but this one is designed for the avid NBA fan. At the conclusion of the Knicks/Lakers game, ESPN3 will place a static camera in the Staples Center to capture the venue’s transformation before the Nuggets/Clippers nightcap at 10:30 p.m.

Dubbed the #StaplesSwitch on social media platforms, viewers can tune in throughout the evening to catch the transition in action. The largest component is striking the Lakers floor and installing the Clippers floor, though signage throughout the entire venue will also be changed quickly.

While the staff and crew at the Staples Center prepares for double duty, ESPN’s lead NBA crew – Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy — also will be on hand for both games. Last year, the tireless duo traveled from Dallas, Texas to Oakland, Calif. on Christmas Day to work both games. This year, they’ll be treated to a special visit from Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor and Clippers fan Billy Crystal, who will join the booth for a portion of the Nuggets/Clippers matchup.

Editor’s Note: Fans with an affiliated internet or cable provider can watch the #StaplesSwitch on tablets, smartphones and computers via ESPN3. Select NBA Christmas Day games are available on ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and WatchESPN. The full schedule is available on ESPN Media Zone.

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