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Rockets’ Jabari Smith Jr., Amen Thompson to work as NBA Finals correspondents

According to a league announcement, young Houston Rockets prospects Jabari Smith Jr. and Amen Thompson will work as player correspondents for Game 1 and Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals. Game 1 is Thursday night, while Game 2 is Sunday evening.

Both of Smith and Thompson’s correspondent games are in Boston, where the Eastern Conference champion Celtics will host the Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks.

Smith will work alone in Game 1, while Amen will work in tandem in Game 2 with Ausar Thompson, his twin brother (Detroit Pistons). The goal of the program is to bring fans on-the-ground coverage directly to NBA social media outlets, as well as the NBA mobile app.

Michael Levine, senior vice president of entertainment and player marketing, shared further program details with NBA.com.

Levine’s insight:

The reality is that we want to work with our players in unique ways in which they can be perceived positively. We are giving them access to this type of platform, not only from a content standpoint, but from being on the NBA’s biggest stage. This is where they aspire to be one day.

This program really gives players an opportunity to do four things. One, is to build their social profile. We want to keep the momentum from their season going, and get them back in the spotlight.

Two, we also want them to understand the business of the NBA, and specifically the NBA Entertainment side. So, they’re seeing how we cover the Finals from a broadcasting perspective, photos perspective, original content, etc.  I think when they go back to their markets, they then have a greater awareness of how things work. They leave with a better sense of how the NBA operates.

Three, is relationship building. So getting to know the people, the league office, our broadcast partners, our global partners, will help all of us build this game. This knowledge then leads to a more trusting and cooperative relationship.

Lastly, seeing the NBA Finals, this is where they hope to be. So all those things went into play as we were developing it. And the program has just gotten bigger and bigger over the years.

More information on the program is available here. Past participants in the media correspondent program — which also encompasses various events at All-Star weekend and the NBA draft — include CJ McCollum, Donovan Mitchell, Scottie Barnes, and Tyrese Maxey.

Smith and Thompson were each named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team after their rookie seasons of 2022-23 and 2023-24, respectively. Both should play key roles for Houston in 2024-25, and while they’d like to play in the NBA Finals with the Rockets in the future — this weekend’s opportunity will suffice, for now.

Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire