Yes, it’s true, Bill Walton and Dick Vitale will be teaming up to call tonight’s Indiana Pacers-Cleveland Cavaliers game on ESPN. They’ll be joined by Dave Pasch who will try to play traffic cop through all this and when possible, Lisa Salters will provide reports from the sidelines for the game.
This is the annual event where ESPN uses college announcers on NBA games and vice versa.
In addition to Walton and Vitale on Pacers-Cavs, you’ll have Dan Dakich crossing over to the NBA to join Ryan Ruocco and Jeff Van Gundy on the Knicks-Thunders game in Oklahoma City. And that game marks NFL insider Adam Schefter’s debut on the NBA. Both games will air on ESPN.
For tonight’s college basketball doubleheader on ESPN2, NBA studio analysts P.J. Carlesimo and Doug Collins will be on the Iowa State-Kansas State and Duke-Virginia games respectively. Collins will call Duke-Virginia with Karl Ravech, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor.
But the interesting team-up will be Pasch, Vitale and Walton. Pasch has had to deal with Walton on Pac-12 games since 2013 with an occasional guest analyst like Jay Bilas, but this will be the first time that Dick Vitale will be part of the Dave and Bill show, although Dickie V and Walton teamed up once before for LeBron James’ ESPN debut back when James was in high school.
If Pasch gets in a word edgewise, it will be a true upset. Just as ESPN has done with the previous two Pasch-Walton games, ESPN3 will provide a feed showing a camera devoted solely to the broadcast table so you’ll be able to see both Vitale and Walton in action.
Here are a couple of screengrabs from the Oregon-UCLA game last week to give you an idea of the ESPN3 feed:
And during the Dickie V and Walton gabfest, viewers may have to check out the online feed so they can see the machinations at the broadcast table.