With increasingly valuable broadcast rights to the NBA Finals, ABC rightfully sees the time around the NBA Finals as a chance to tie basketball into many of its shows. One of the ways it does that is by airing the talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live" shortly after games end on both coasts. These episodes tend to be basketball-themed, with appearances by current and retired players. For the most part, it's a fairly normal talk show.
After Monday night's Game 1, Kimmel decided to change things up a bit and use the NBA tie-in more creatively. With the aid of perhaps the best Internet connections ever, Kimmel teleconferenced with Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert and New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin for a "Skype Scavenger Hunt," during which he had the two players quickly search for various items in their homes. It's a light, funny segment featuring two of the most personable players in the NBA, and you can watch it above via Hulu.
This clip works primarily because it's so casual. Hibbert and Lin are branding themselves as normal guys, surely, but there's no sense that every step of this segment was figured out beforehand, or that Kimmel's producers even told them the general outline of the game. They appear to be themselves, throughout, and that's rare. A tie-in like this one could easily have seemed overplanned. Credit Kimmel, his producers, and the participants for avoiding that.
- Roy Hibbert