Follow the Bouncing Ball: NBA 2018-19 Opening Week, Xmas, MLK Jr. Day, LeBron
Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 02:50AM in LeBron James, MLK Jr., NBA, NBA, Opening Week, Xmas, basketball, sports marketing

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

August 8, 2018:
The 2018 NFL season is just around the corner and MLB’s post-season and World Series are on the horizon.

But the NBA has cut the line by unveiling a roster of games for Opening Week presented by Kia, Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The 2018-19 season is also being anticipated for the arrival of LeBron James as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, which some see as a holiday unto itself.

The league’s 73rd season begins Oct. 16., with the Kia NBA Tip-Off 2018, the earliest start to a regular season since the 1980-81 season began on Oct. 10.
Kia NBA Tip-Off 2018
The first six days of the 2018-19 season (Oct. 16-21) will feature 15 different teams playing 11 nationally televised games across TNT, ESPN and NBA TV as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2018.

TNT and ESPN will each present two doubleheaders during the season’s first four days.
• Oct. 16: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics (8 PM ET) TNT
• Oct. 16: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors (10:30 PM ET) TNT

Before the second game, the Warriors will receive their championship rings and unveil their championship banner for the 2017-18 season.

This will be TNT’s 23rd consecutive season with a doubleheader on opening night, marking Turner Sports’ 35th straight year of NBA coverage.    
ESPN will open its 17th consecutive year of NBA coverage with a doubleheader.

• Oct. 17: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Houston Rockets 8 PM (ET) ESPN
• Oct. 17 Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns 10:30 PM (ET) ESPN
On Oct. 18, four-time Kia NBA MVP LeBron James will play his first regular-season game with the Los Angeles Lakers when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers in the second game of TNT’s doubleheader (10:30 PM ET).

The opener will see the Chicago Bulls visit the Philadelphia 76ers (8 PM ET).
Kia NBA Tip-Off 2018 will continue on Friday, Oct. 19 as ESPN’s doubleheader starts with a matchup with the Toronto Raptors hosting Celtics (8 PM ET), followed by the Warriors visiting the Utah Jazz (10:30 PM ET).

James’ first home game with Los Angeles will be on ESPN on Saturday, Oct. 20, when the Lakers host the Rockets (10:30 PM ET).
The Oct. 20 schedule will also be highlighted by NBA TV’s first telecast of the season as the Washington Wizards host the Raptors (7 PM ET).

On Sunday, Oct. 21, NBA TV will complete the national TV schedule for opening week when the Rockets visit the Los Angeles Clippers (9 PM ET). 

NBA Christmas Day
The NBA will feature five games on Christmas Day (Tuesday, Dec. 25) for the 11th straight year. ESPN and ABC will combine to televise all five match-ups.

• Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks 12 Noon (ET) ESPN
• Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets 3 PM (ET) ABC
• Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics 5:30 PM (ET) ABC
• Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors 8 PM (ET) ESPN
• Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz 10:30 PM (ET) ESPN

Martin Luther King Jr. Day    
• New Orleans Pelicans vs. Memphis Grizzlies 5:30 PM (ET) TNT
• Houston Rockets vs. Philadelphia 76ers 8 PM (ET) TNT
• Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers 10:30 PM (ET) TNT

The complete game schedule and broadcast schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and ESPN Radio will be unveiled on Aug. 10.

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