ESPN To Air A Marvel-Themed NBA Game

ESPN and Marvel, both of which are owned by Disney, are teaming up for a superhero-themed NBA broadcast that represents a first-of-its-kind event for the sports network. Monday, May 3's Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans game will...

ESPN To Air A Marvel-Themed NBA Game

ESPN and Marvel, both of which are owned by Disney, are teaming up for a superhero-themed NBA broadcast that represents a first-of-its-kind event for the sports network. Monday, May 3's Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans game will have an alternate broadcast on ESPN 2, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes called Marvel's Arena of Heroes.

The broadcast will feature "elements from an original Marvel story," as well as characters like Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Black Widow, and Doctor Strange. These characters will appear during the live broadcast alongside 3D virtual characters of some type, custom graphics, and special animation packages.

"After a narrow victory over an invading alien army, the Avengers receive an ominous threat from the enemy who vows to return in greater numbers and force. The Black Panther and Iron Man quickly realize they will need more help and form a plan to expand their ranks to fight this impending threat," reads a line from the event's description. "Recognizing the superior physical abilities, agility, and tenacity of Earth's greatest athletes, the Avengers will hold a series of contests where the winners earn the right to train and fight alongside them as Marvel's Champions!"

Three players on each team will be the focus of this event, including Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins for the Warriors. The Pelicans players of note will be Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball.

Based on how they perform on the court during the live game, these players will earn "Marvel Hero Points." The player with the most on the winning team will become the Champion. Here is a rundown of how points can be scored:

Scoring system:

  • One Marvel Hero Point will be awarded for every point, rebound, assist, steal and block;
  • One Marvel Hero Point will be deducted for every missed field goal, free throw or turnover;

Ryan Ruocco and Richard Jefferson will perform the commentary inside a Marvel-themed studio at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. Marvel expert Angélique Roché will be on hand to provide commentary as well.

This special broadcast will be in addition to the traditional broadcast set to air simultaneously on ESPN. The network created a comic book-style graphic to promote the upcoming event, which you can see below.

Before this, Nickelodeon aired an NFL playoff game featuring special SpongeBob graphics.