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NBA Draft

NBA Draft

  • Premiered: 
    June 10, 1980
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: USA
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Draft for NBA Basketball 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
  • Tags: basketball

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Plot Synopsis

Each year since 1947, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has held its annual draft, during which NBA teams select amateur basketball players. In its early years, between 80 and 150 players were selected in each draft, with the number of rounds changing frequently from year to year. From 1965-1973, the draft had between 18 and 21 rounds, and then the following year the NBA DRAFT was reduced to 10 rounds for the next 11 years. In 1985, the NBA DRAFT was comprised of seven rounds, reduced to three rounds for the next three years (1986-1988), and then two rounds ever since. The NBA DRAFT was first televised on June 10, 1980, when USA Network showed the draft live, and the proceedings have been shown live on TV each year since. USA Network presented the NBA DRAFT for five years (1980-1984), and then TBS Superstation showed it for the next five years (1985-1989), concluding with the first primetime telecast on Tuesday, June 27, 1989. Since then, the NBA DRAFT has been televised live during primetime on TNT (1990-2002) and on ESPN (2003-Present).
The 2020 NBA DRAFT, a virtual event during the COVID-19 pandemic, was televised live on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 8pm ET/5pm PT on ESPN, preceded by a half-hour pre-draft program at 7:30pm ET. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum appear at the ESPN studios in Bristol, CT to announce the selections, while up to 60 draftees appear virtually. This marks the first NBA Draft at ESPN's studios and its 18th consecutive NBA Draft telecast overall. Rece Davis returns to host with an expert panel of commentators, including analysts Jay Bilas and Jay Williams, and NBA Draft analyst Mike Schmitz in studio on the main set. Additionally, ESPN NBA reporter Malika Andrews serves as the NBA Draft telecast reporter for the first time. The team conducts virtual interviews with several top draftees. ESPN commentary and vignettes will focus largely on the individual stories of top players. In addition, ESPN will document Draft headquarters activity for up to eight NBA teams. ESPN will also debut a new graphics and animation package for its 2020 NBA Draft telecast. ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski provides reports and news updates throughout the night from ESPN's studios. ESPN NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks also appears in studio and provide front office insights and commentary. Recording artist Judith Hill tips off the telecast by performing her song "Thank You."


Other Titles

  • Also known as: National Basketball Association Draft


  • Barclays Center (2013-2019) - Brooklyn, New York USA - Map It!
  • ESPN Studios (2020) - Bristol, Connecticut USA