Marvel’s Avengers are recruiting! To start, Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Black Widow and Doctor Strange will drop in on ESPN’s broadcast of the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans to scout potential new members for the team.
On Monday, May 30, The NBA Special Edition Presented by State Farm: Marvel’s Arena of Heroes will air at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes while the traditional game airs on ESPN. The special edition game will include 3D virtual characters, custom graphics and animation packages.
After scoring a narrow victory over an invading alien army, the Avengers receive a threat from the enemy who vows to return in greater numbers. Black Panther and Iron Man realize they need more help and form a plan to expand the Avengers’ ranks. 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. The Avengers begin their recruitment with the NBA, observing the “battle” between the Warriors and the Pelicans and focusing on three star players from each team.
For the Warriors, the Avengers have their eyes on Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins, while on the Pelicans the Avengers will be checking out Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
Fans will be able to follow along as these athletes gain Marvel Hero points via game play. The player with the most Marvel Hero points on the winning team will be crowned as Marvel’s first champion following the show.
“Marvel and ESPN have brought the worlds of sports and super heroes together for years through comics, documentaries and other stories celebrating athletes and their extraordinary abilities,” said Mike Pasciullo, vice president, marketing and communications, Marvel Entertainment, in a statement. “The new Marvel’s Arena of Heroes telecast will be the first of its kind to bring Marvel’s storytelling directly to the real-time experience of a NBA game, and we are excited for fans to be able to watch their favorite players through the lens of Marvel’s mightiest heroes.”
“We’re eager for fans to experience this unique, innovative presentation that will pair Marvel and ESPN’s exceptional storytelling and production,” said Matt Kenny, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions, also in a statement. “We are proud to showcase the ‘larger than life’ abilities of these NBA stars in a manner in which only Disney and Marvel can deliver.”
The traditional telecast of the Warriors versus the Pelicans will be broadcast exclusively in the New Orleans market, while airing simultaneously on ESPN. Dave Pasch will call the action with analyst Mark Jackson and reporter Cassidy Hubbarth on site in New Orleans. Both the NBA Special Edition Presented by State Farm: Marvel’s Arena of Heroes alternate presentation and the traditional game telecast will stream via the ESPN app.
READ MORE: Variety