Spurs-Pelicans moved to ESPN in anticipation of Zion's NBA debut.
ESPN's NBA double-header for next Wednesday, January 22nd, was originally scheduled to conclude with a matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets. But that was before the New Orleans Pelicans announced the date of Zion Williamson's highly anticipated NBA debut.
According to The New York Times' Marc Stein, that Nuggets-Rockets game has been swapped out of the national spotlight in favor of Spurs at Pelicans, giving fans across the country an opportunity to watch Zion's first real NBA action. That game, airing on ESPN, will tipoff at 9:30pm ET.
The Pelicans were originally scheduled to play in a franchise-record 30 nationally televised games throughout the 2019-20 NBA season, thanks to their highly touted No. 1 overall pick. This includes Saturday afternoon's home game against Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers, which will air on ABC at 3:30pm ET.
Zion won't be suiting up for that game, but basketball fans can rest assured that the league will do everything in their power to get the 19-year old phenom on their screens as much as possible moving forward. New Orleans will also host the Boston Celtics on Sunday, January 26 in a game that will air on ESPN at 6pm ET, so plan accordingly.
Now if only the NBA would do something about all of those nationally televised Warriors games.