Behind The ScenesNFL

ESPN’s KIA NBA Countdown makes Super Bowl XLVII road trip, airs from
New Orleans tonight

The NBA Countdown crew (L-R) Michael Wilbon, Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons. Magic Johnson won't be appearing in New Orleans. (Scott Clarke / ESPN)
The KIA NBA Countdown crew (L-R) Michael Wilbon, Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons. The group — minus Magic — will be in New Orleans tonight as ESPN presents an NBA doubleheader. (Scott Clarke / ESPN)

ESPN is taking KIA NBA Countdown — its NBA pre-game show – on the road for the first time this season. The destination?

It’s New Orleans — Jackson Square to be specific, where ESPN this week is presenting 120 hours of programming leading up to Super Bowl XLVII.


Analysts Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons and Michael Wilbon will be on site for Countdown at 7:30 p.m. ET, which precedes ESPN’s NBA doubleheader: Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns. The crew will be back throughout the evening for halftime and post-game segments.

Front Row had the chance to catch up with Countdown coordinating producer Amina Hussein — the former CP for Sunday NFL Countdown — who is at the helm of several exciting changes to Countdown this year, the latest of which is a trip to the Super Bowl host city.

Aren’t you supposed to be done with football now?
[Laughs] As a fan I am never done with football. Being from the Bay Area, it’s exciting to have a Bay Area team in the big game, even if it’s not the Raiders.

How did the decision to take KIA NBA Countdown to the Super Bowl happen?
There were a few reasons. For one, New Orleans is a great city with a young and exciting NBA franchise. Also, being part of the Super Bowl festivities will give us more exposure, especially to the non-NBA fans.

How does your approach change from producing an in-studio show to producing an on-site show?
The preparation changes a bit and there is lots of pre-produced content. We’re also working from a truck as opposed to a control room. It takes a high level of coordination and communication to take productions on the road.

From a production standpoint, what will you try to capture on this “Super Bowl” edition of KIA NBA Countdown?
We have two intriguing matchups on ESPN tonight. . .and we will not lose sight of that. However, we are in New Orleans, after all, so we will look to capture the sights and sounds of the city and incorporate the unique, exciting environment into our show.

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