I’m not going to lie, ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Draft has certainly gotten better over the past few years. There has been less made up words by Bilas and Mike Tirico was solid as a host. Well progress be damned! ESPN is making drastic changes to the program as I noted last week and today they addressed all of them in a nice, easy to read press release. Here are your particulars….
Main Stage: Stuart Scott, Jay Bilas, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy
Contributing Analysts: Fran Fraschilla, Dick Vitale (via satellite); on-site reporters Ric Bucher and Andy Katz
Interviewers (on-site): Stephen A. Smith and Doris Burke
Reporters (off-site): David Amber (Chicago), Colleen Dominguez (Seattle) and Wendi Nix (Tarrytown, N.Y., site of the Knicks’ training facility)
ESPN’s Draft telecast will display a constant crawl on-screen graphic at all times (including during commercial breaks), continuously providing up-to-the-minute Draft updates including picks, trades, team-by-team summaries, player stats, the results of ESPN.com’s interactive polling in real time, Bilas’ “Best Available” prospects and Fraschilla’s top international prospects. The crawl will also feature team needs, which will include perspectives from Jackson and Van Gundy.
Featured NBA Draft production elements:
-Jay Bilas’ in-depth analysis of the top prospects
-Video conferencing with 14 team headquarters providing immediate access to the key team personnel in this year’s Draft
-More than 130 player highlight packages featuring top prospects
-“Draft Cam” from the Draft rooms of multiple teams, including the Chicago Bulls with the No. 1 pick, providing a unique window to the decision makers as they make their selection
-Behind-the-scenes video of prospects as they endure testing and measurements at the Orlando Pre-Draft camp
The one thing that always bugs me about ESPN’s coverage is that they never go to the writers who cover the Sport all year long. I know Jay Bilas is their NBA version on Mel Kiper Jr, but what about Chad Ford, John Hollinger, and Andy Katz. I’m sure they’ll get their face time, but they’d be much better talking College players than Stephen A. Smith, Dick Vitale, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy. Just doesn’t make sense to me. Anywho, the draft kicks off at 7pm on ESPN this Thursday and here is your first look at the intro for the coverage….