Can you watch the NBA on ESPN Plus?

Al Horford of the Boston Celtics guards Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat
(Image credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

ESPN is one of the broadcast homes for the NBA, offering nationally televised games throughout the season as well as the NBA playoffs. But can you watch live NBA games with the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports' streaming service, ESPN Plus?

It's complicated.

ESPN Plus offers its subscribers a mix of live sports and original programming. Currently, the sports that you can stream regularly on ESPN Plus include the NHL, college football and other college sports, MLB, the PGA Tour UFC, the Professional Fighting League (PFL), MLS, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Emirates FA Cup, Copa del Ray, the EFL, Scottish Premiership, Top Rank boxing, tennis, cricket, rugby and the Professional Lacrosse League (PLL) and more. Similar to how it handles the NFL, ESPN Plus does not regularly stream the NBA, but there are some exceptions.

Select NBA games are being streamed on ESPN Plus, with a simulcast of the ESPN broadcast, a Spanish-language broadcast and Stephen A. Smith's new alternate broadcast available to stream for the game.

At this time, there are no NBA games scheduled to live stream on ESPN Plus.

If you want another option to stream NBA games that are not playing on national television or on your local regional sports network, the best option is likely NBA League Pass (opens in new tab). There are three subscription options available with NBA League Pass, with the ability to sign up for a monthly or annual subscription. 

Here is a breakdown of each of the NBA League Pass deals:

League Pass + NBA TV

  • Price: $14.99 per month/$99.99 for the season
  • Seven-day free trial available
  • On-demand games plus 24/7 NBA coverage
  • Stream live games for all teams (blackout restrictions apply)
  • NBA TV studio shows, including Game Time and Basketball Stories
  • Every NBA Finals game from the past 21 years
  • Full length and 10-minute condensed replays of every game
  • Home and away team broadcasts
  • Listen to select games in alternate languages
  • Download games for offline viewing
  • Live audio for every game of the season
  • Commercials
  • Stream on one device at a time

League Pass Premium + NBA TV

  • Price: $19.99 per month/$129.99 for the season
  • Seven-day free trial available
  • On-demand games plus 24/7 NBA coverage
  • Stream live games for all teams (blackout restrictions apply)
  • NBA TV studio shows, including Game Time and Basketball Stories
  • Every NBA Finals game from the past 21 years
  • Full length and 10-minute condensed replays of every game
  • Home and away team broadcasts
  • Listen to select games in alternate languages
  • Download games for offline viewing
  • Live audio for every game of the season
  • No commercials
  • Watch on two devices at the same time

If you're only interested in following one team, then you can sign up for Team Pass for just $13.99 per month.

Check NBA League Pass to see what teams would be affected by local blackout restrictions. Archived versions of blacked out games are available three days after the broadcast via NBA League Pass, though subscribers can listen to these games live.

Another restriction is that any game that airs nationally on ESPN, ABC, TNT & NBA TV is not available to watch live on NBA League Pass, though the games' audio broadcasts are available live and subscribers can watch them three hours after the broadcast concludes.

More on ESPN Plus

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).