Amin’s NBA on Christmas Day debut is apt gift for Chicago native

Adam Amin and Doris Burke will call NBA action together Christmas night on ESPN.
Adam Amin and Doris Burke will call NBA action together Christmas night on ESPN.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sunday, ABC and ESPN will combine to present over 13 consecutive hours of NBA action over five games, highlighted by the rematch of the most-watched NBA Finals since 1998 – the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Golden State Warriors at 2:30 p.m. on ABC.

Since joining ESPN in 2011, Adam Amin has covered an impressive array of events across sports, including college football games and studio shows, college basketball, NFL on ESPN Radio, Major League Baseball and more.

This Sunday, Amin will add another milestone event to his resume, as he provides play-by-play for his first NBA Christmas game when the Minnesota Timberwolves visit the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. He will be joined by analyst Doris Burke.

Prior to his Christmas debut, Amin touched on a variety of topics, including his NBA Christmas memories and his preparation, with Front Row.

What does it mean to you to be calling your first ESPN NBA on Christmas Day game?
Growing up in Chicago during the Jordan era meant that NBA on Christmas Day was appointment television. Christmas was like the re-ignition of the NBA season. In fact, it was typically the day that NBC would start its NBA coverage so my dad, my brothers and I would sit around and watch the games together. It was very special to me then and to have the chance to be a part of that coverage with ESPN so many years later is pretty incredible.

Could you describe what makes calling an NBA game unique compared to other sports?
The first thing you notice is the speed. It’s an uptick from college hoops. To watch a 7-foot, 250-pounder like Karl-Anthony Towns take two big strides to get from half court to the rim and throw down a thunderous dunk is jaw-dropping. The other thing is anticipation. You have to anticipate guys making the open shot or properly executing a fast-break and tailor your call during the game to those things.

What will go into your preparation for Sunday’s game?
What’s nice about Christmas Day is that it’s when a lot of people turn their attention to the NBA, so it’s almost like re-introducing NBA fans to these teams with whom they may not be 100 percent familiar. We got a look at the Minnesota Timberwolves a couple of weeks ago so we’ll have a good feel on how to recap their year and remind fans that they’re the youngest roster in the league with a new head coach. We can also hit the reset button on Russell Westbrook’s incredible, and potentially historic year. Does he have enough to match Oscar Robertson’s 1961-62 triple-double season? Can he chase down Oscar’s 41 triple-doubles or maybe Wilt Chamberlain’s 31? Doris Burke, producer Jonathan Labovich,and our great crew can dive into some of the historic elements of what Westbrook is doing.

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