NBA on ESPN Radio
|Genre||National Basketball Association|
|Running time||150 minutes (approximate)|
|Home station||ESPN Radio (1996-)|
Stan Van Gundy
|Air dates||since January 21, 1996|
The NBA on ESPN Radio is a broadcast of National Basketball Association games on the ESPN Radio network. The program began on January 21, 1996 and the current contract runs through the 2015-16 season. Until the end of 2014, the coverage was also heard on ESPN Radio.com, but this changed in January 2015 as ESPN apparently was no longer allowed by the NBA to stream it's radio coverage online except for the All-Star Game (usually, ESPN Radio now airs "Pod Center" or ESPNEWS in place of NBA on ESPN Radio coverage). That might still be heard on ESPN Radio's iOS application. Most NBA on ESPN Radio games might also be still streamed on mobile devices and on Xbox 360 and Xbox One video game consoles via the iHeartRadio application, as KTZN, Alaska's ESPN Radio affiliate which streams on iHeartRadio, would sometimes broadcast the games.
As the primary national radio partner of the NBA, ESPN Radio broadcasts games on a weekly basis including some of the league's marquee events:
- Thursday night regular season games.
- Mid-season Sunday afternoon games, which are radio simulcasts of those from ABC, occasional double-headers (since 2004).
- Christmas Day games.
- All Star Game festivities.
- Most of the NBA Playoffs, including all of the Conference Finals and NBA Finals.
Since the debut of NBA games on the network, ESPN Radio games have featured the lead broadcast team of Jim Durham on play-by-play and Dr. Jack Ramsay as the color commentator. Other broadcasters have included Kevin Calabro, Brent Musburger, Tim Legler, Howard David, Dave Flemming, Doug Brown, and Will Perdue. Musburger has called several NBA Finals for ESPN Radio, his last being the 2004 NBA Finals.
|“||Working with [Jim Durham] is a pleasure, he's the best play-by-play guy in the business, and I will miss very much not working with him. But we were not going to work the Finals together, and I didn't want to do it with anybody else.||”|
Ramsay did not retire; as of the 2008-09 NBA season, he worked regular season games with Durham, until Western Conference Finals. Tirico along with Hubie Brown calls Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals. Ramsay joined them in the 2009 NBA Finals. Durham called the 2010 Finals, as Tirico was on assignment at the World Cup. Tirico did not call either of the conference finals played in 2012 due to other commitments; Durham and Ramsay called the Eastern Conference Finals, while Calabro and Brown called the Western Conference Finals. The Durham-Brown-Ramsay trio called the 2012 NBA Finals. Durham's last assignment was the opening game of the 2012–13 NBA season between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat, shortly before his death on November 5. Durham was replaced by Calabro, who called the remainder of the network's regular season games. Ramsay stepped away from the booth in May to focus on his cancer treatment. Calabro and Brown called the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, while Dave Pasch and Chris Mullin called the Western Conference Finals. The ABC secondary team of Tirico and Brown called the 2013 NBA Finals.
For the 2013–14 NBA season, ESPN assembled a brand new team for the games. Kevin Calabro returned as the main play-by-play voice for the NBA on ESPN Radio, and joining him as the analyst was Jon Barry. They also announced the secondary team would consist of Marc Kestecher and PJ Carlesimo for the occasional double headers. Stan Van Gundy would also serve as an analyst for 10 games. Jim Spanarkel would be brought over as an analyst for one playoff game when Barry was away for TV duties, Carlesimo was calling the other weekend game for ESPN Radio, and Van Gundy wasn't available during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on ESPN Radio.
- Press Release: 2006-07 NBA SEASON ON ESPN BEGINS NOV. 1
- Press Release: NBA ON ESPN RADIO TIPS OFF NOV. 2
- Houston Chronicle: Durham-Ramsay team to sign off after Finals