ESPN is moving its NBA pregame show to LA, where its built a new studio for Kia NBA Countdown. According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, the West Coast move was made to better fit Magic Johnson‘s schedule. Johnson (and his considerable access to players and celebrities) will have an expanded role this year, according to a press release from ESPN.
The lineup for the show is also a little different this year: Chris Broussard will join Johnson, Mike Wilbon, and Jon Barry. As you can see, there’s no Stu Scott, and the show doesn’t have a traditional host. Usually on pregame shows, “traditional host” is a synonym for “babysitter,” but apparently ESPN is going to let its guys air it out, in an effort to create “a less scripted, more dynamic show,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s VP of production. We’ll see if this leads to a more free-flowing discussion (ala TNT’s Inside the NBA) or general, shouty anarchy.