“If [Warriors Head Coach Mark] Jackson and his team can somehow play above their height and make the playoffs, maybe next year, network trucks will become more commonplace around here.” That’s how last year’s Warriors broadcast preview ended.
And not only did the Dubs make the playoffs, they made it to the second round, and in that round, played better against the Spurs than their Western Conference Finals opponent, the Grizzlies, did.
So that “next year” is now.
This year’s W’s benefit from last season’s success with a broadcast schedule that’s much improved over last year’s. There’ll be ten more national appearances than there were in 2012-13. They include nine on ESPN, up from five last year, eight on TNT, which only had three last season, and another nine on the league's own outlet, NBA TV, which is an improvement from eight last year. That adds up to 26, which is considerably more than the 16 that were available nationally last season.
Also note that Christmas is coming back to Oakland this year. After a year off, the Warriors will host the Clippers in the nightcap of five back-to-back holiday telecasts. It’s one of the nine aforementioned appearances on ESPN.
Other national appearances include the season tip-off, hosting the Lakers, on Wednesday (NBA TV), at the Clips on Thursday (TNT), hosting the Thunder on November 14 (TNT), at the Lakers on the 25th (ESPN), and at the Thunder on the 29th (NBA TV).
In December, they host the three squads from Texas, on ESPN and TNT, with six more national tip-offs in January, including hosting their playoff opponents, the Nuggets on the 15th (ESPN). That’s followed by five more in February, which features a visit by the defending NBA champs, the Heat, on the 12th (NBA TV), and a stop at Madison Square Garden on the 28th (ESPN).
They conclude the regular season in April with four of their last five tips on national TV, including another visit from the Nuggets on the 10th (TNT), at the Lakers the following night, and the season wrap at the Nuggets on the 16th (ESPN).
One minor setback: they still won’t be on ABC, which carries ESPN's top contests. They’ve yet to make an appearance on that broadcast network, so it’ll take a deep playoff run to make that happen.
Meanwhile, you'll find the W's locally on CSN Bay Area, which has all matchups except six on TNT. Longtime announcers Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett will be back to call the action.
Warriors radio broadcasts are on KNBR 680 AM, with Tim Roye at the mike, joined at Oracle by Tom Tolbert.
By the way, 18 of the 26 national telecasts are home games, so look for those network trucks outside Oracle Arena. And if the Dubs make it back to the playoffs, maybe we’ll even see them on channel 7.
But that’s a long way off.