As Ian Eagle noted on a YES Network zoom call with members of the Nets media Tuesday, this upcoming season is the most anticipated season in the franchise’s history. Period.
To satisfy that high anticipation and great excitement for this Brooklyn Nets team to hit the hardwood and chase championship aspirations, YES Network promised to bring a different level of coverage to their fanbase ... while following the necessary safety protocols.
“The Brooklyn Nets this year are going to be treated as the national story as they are locally,” Jared Boshnack, the senior coordinating producer of YES said. “We are going to do everything we can to showcase them and make sure they are one of the biggest stars on our network. We are going to have coverage across linear and digital.
“Everybody (Ian Eagle, Sarah Kustok, Michael Grady, Ryan Rucco, and Richard Jefferson) you see here is going to lead the charge on that. What we will really explore is exclusivity, access, and anything we can do to make them stand out understanding also the safety protocols and the world we are currently living in. I hope that is a good overview but I can tell you we will treat the Brooklyn Nets as big as any event or any team we have on YES.”
While YES is aiming to bring the Nets fanbase a new level of coverage, their talent will not be traveling to away games for the Nets, the network announced. The team will be calling both home and away games from the Barclays Center.
“While we may be detached from the action, it is our job to not let the viewer feel dictated to,” Eagle said about having no fans in attendance for games. “It is going to be different not being on-site for road games. It is something we experienced with the “bubble,” so we are not going into this blindly, but your job doesn’t change. The job is still to inform and entertain. Just because you are not up close doesn’t mean you have a built-in excuse now to change the way you do your job. “
The Nets broadcast team, on and off-camera, is viewed at the best in the business as more than one survey of fans have shown.
“We are going to do it the same way,” Eagle assured the media present. “There will be some more challenges and we’ll try to humanize the players, that doesn’t change. Bringing enthusiasm and excitement. That’s still part of the equation and being the conduit from the event to the viewer. That is what we do. I think we are going to be fine. We have a feeling of collaboration with this crew and we are very comfortable with one another. That is not going to change on the air. If anything, I think covering this particular team is going to raise the level for everyone to make sure we are providing great content.”
The network will televise both of the Nets’ upcoming preseason games (December 13 against Washington - December. 19 against Boston). Even though YES will not televise the December 22 Nets season opener — that will air on TNT, the network promised “wall-to-wall coverage” before and after the opener.
Specifically, here’s how YES will handle Opening Night. YES won’t broadcast the game, but here’s what to look forward to...
—4:00 pm: Facebook Live telecast of pre-game production meeting;
—6:00 pm: One-hour Nets Opening Night Pre-Game Show;
—7:00 pm: Ruocco, Kustok & Grady “ride along” on YES social media during TNT telecast;
—10:00 pm: Nets Post-Game Show.
YES Network will televise 30 of the Nets’ 37 games in the first half of the season. YES’ first televised game, aside from the two preseason games, will be Game 3 on Sunday, December 27, when the Nets face the Hornets in Charlotte. Game 2, of course, will be Christmas Day game in Boston. That’ll be on ABC,
The YES Network team was unanimous in talking about how much they anticipate the return of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving ... and the possibility of a championship.
Ruocco believes the Nets are sitting comfortably as is. He thinks the team definitely has the pieces it will take to give them a shot at their aspirations.
“.Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant with the rest of these pieces the right mix to win a title? I think there is a good chance they are, yeah. If the top-end talent is good enough, you can do it that way but if you have the right two with the proper pieces around them, you can do it that way too. I think there is no reason why the Nets should feel like they don’t have everything they need here right now. Maybe they won’t win but I think they definitely have the pieces it will take to give themselves a real shot.”
Kustok said she’s excited to see the versatility of this roster.
“What I love about the roster is the versatility that they bring to the table. You start looking at lineups, the way they can mix and match, and the way they can piece things together. That, I think is what brings so much optimism. And, of course, what they can do on the offensive end.
“I think defensively, it is going to be really interesting to see. We have heard from players the last couple of days about the tweaks defensively and the new things they are doing. The way it resembles say the aggressive style of play on that end of the floor that we got to see out of Jacque Vaughn in the bubble. I think that to me is the end. You know you are going to be able to score, you know you are going to be able to put up a lot of points with the amount of talent and offensive firepower you have.”
To wrap it up, take it from Ian Eagle...
“This is the most anticipated season in Nets history,” Eagle said. “With everything that was done the last offseason, combined with the moves made this offseason, I can’t think of a year where Nets fans felt like they were part of the overall conversation about the league more so than this year.”
- YES Network’s Brooklyn Nets crew ready to tackle challenges of 2020-21 NBA season - A.J. Hermann - YES Network
- YES Network putting Nets front and center this season - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Ian Eagle, YES Network sky high about Nets’ possibilities - Greg Logan - Newsday
- YES NETWORK LOOKS AHEAD TO THE BROOKLYN NETS AND BROADCASTING THE 2020-21 SEASON - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn News