News: NBA schedule leaks, World Cup, Smith and more

The first set of NBA schedule leaks contains the Grizzlies’ Christmas Day debut. Plus: the beginning of the World Cup has moved up a day; former SportsHeart anchor Michael Smith has a brand new gig; and more.

Early NBA schedule leaks embrace Grizzlies’ first Christmas recreation

The Memphis Grizzlies are tentatively scheduled to play a Christmas Day recreation for the primary time in franchise historical past, per longtime NBA author Marc Stein. Memphis would face Golden State on the vacation in a rematch of their second spherical playoff collection final season. Assuming the sport would air on ABC — a secure guess given the opponent — it might mark the primary time in franchise historical past that the Grizzlies performed a nationwide common season recreation on broadcast tv. The crew’s solely different common season recreation on broadcast, in opposition to Phoenix on ABC in March 2005, aired regionally in lower than half of markets.

Grizzlies-Warriors is considered one of a handful of nationally televised video games which have leaked in current days. Stein additionally reported that the Lakers will face the Mavericks in Dallas on Christmas, the second time in three years that LeBron James and Luka Doncic have been set to face one another on the vacation.

In addition, The Athletic reported that the Warriors will open their title protection in opposition to the Lakers on Opening Night.

Per Stein, the NBA schedule is about to be launched this coming week. (Stein/Twitter 8.13, The Athletic 8.13)

Start of World Cup strikes up by in the future

The begin of this 12 months’s FIFA World Cup has been moved up a day to Sunday, November 20, permitting for host nation Qatar to play within the first match of the match. Qatar will now host Ecuador at 11 AM ET that morning. Under the unique iteration of the schedule, the match would have aired on FOX. With the transfer to an NFL Sunday, that now not seems probably; the unique model of the World Cup schedule included just one Sunday match on FOX — the December 18 last at 10 AM ET. (Sky Sports 8.12)

Former SC anchor Smith joins Amazon NFL studio

Former ESPN SportsHeart anchor Michael Smith has been named a information analyst for Amazon’s Thursday Night Football studio protection, it was introduced this week. Smith has lined the NFL for the Boston Globe and ESPN, serving as a Patriots beat reporter for the previous and often internet hosting “NFL Live” for the latter. Since he and co-host Jemele Hill had been pressured out of ESPN in 2018, he has primarily appeared on the Peacock sports activities present “Brother From Another” alongside Michael Holley. (Amazon PR 8.9)

Plus: Field of Dreams, McGrath, Gronkowski

Major League Baseball won’t return to Dyersville, Iowa, for a third-straight version of the “Field of Dreams” recreation subsequent 12 months because of building on the website. … ESPN not too long ago introduced a contract extension with faculty soccer reporter Molly McGrath. … ESPN on Saturday introduced an alternate presentation of subsequent week’s UFC 278 PPV that includes Rob Gronkowski. Coverage will air on ESPN and ESPN+ at 9 PM ET earlier than shifting to ESPN+ solely the next hour. (Des Moines Register 8.10, ESPN PR)

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