The 2022-23 NBA season kicks off on October 18 when the Celtics face the Sixers and the Lakers take on the defending champion Warriors. Whether you’re looking to find the best way to watch the NBA using NBA League Pass, or test cord-cutting services that include NBA action, you can do it all with the help of a VPN.
How to stream the NBA with a VPN
You can stream the NBA in just a few simple steps:
- Get ExpressVPN.
- Connect to a server location in the U.S.
- Choose your preferred streaming platform to watch ABC or ESPN.
- Tune in and enjoy!
How to stream the NBA with League Pass
If you want to check out the biggest showcase game the NBA has to offer, there isn’t a better option than NBA League Pass. You can enjoy games without blackouts by using the international version of the service and it comes with a strong seven-day free trial.
NBA League Pass
Price: 7 USD/season
Want to enjoy NBA games with the privacy and security of a VPN? NBA League Pass is your best option.
NBA game blackouts: International League Pass vs. U.S. League Pass
What’s the difference between watching NBA League Pass in Germany, Australia, Canada, or the U.S.? League Pass is available both inside and outside the States. However, there are key differences every fan needs to know.
The U.S. League Pass offers live games and full-game replays for all teams. However, blackouts apply. When a team is playing, that game will be “blacked out” on the U.S. League Pass for the team’s home market. Nationally broadcast games on ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV—in other words, most of the playoffs—will also be blacked out. (All blacked-out games are available three days after broadcast. If you purchased the 3-Game Choice package, nationally telecast games will be available for purchase three hours after they have aired. Locally telecast games will be available for purchase three days after they air.)
Want to tune in without having to worry about blackouts? The International League Pass also offers live games for all teams, but without a single blackout!
That’s because blackouts are put in place to protect local broadcasters’ viewership while preserving users’ ability to watch out-of-market games. If you’re streaming from a country outside the United States or Canada, every game is effectively “out-of-market,” meaning that there are no blackouts to worry about. If you only want to watch the games for a single team, select the “Team Choice” option to save some money!
How to cancel NBA League Pass
If you feel like you’re not getting value out of your subscription, cancelling it is not an arduous process. There’s actually a comprehensive guide on how to cancel. You should also be aware that the service auto-renews monthly—if you’re on a monthly subscription—or prior to the season if you’ve purchased an annual subscription. You can opt out of auto-renewals and you will be notified by email prior to getting auto-renewed for a full season.
Stream the NBA using services with free trials
There are a number of cord-cutting services available that should cover your needs. They can be slightly pricey, but most offer free trials so you have ample opportunity to see if they’re worth it for you.
Price: 35 USD/month and up
SlingTV includes channels that carry NBA playoff games, such as ESPN, TNT, and ESPN3 (NBA on ABC). To get all of these channels, you’ll need to get Sling Orange as well as Sling Blue (a combined package costs 50 USD).A 3-day free trial is available.
Note: You will need a U.S. credit card or PayPal in order to subscribe.
Price: 65 USD/month and up
Channels: ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBA TV
YouTube TV offers over 70 local channels, including ABC. A subscription costs 65 USD/month, and doesn’t require a U.S. billing address (though you may need to provide a U.S. ZIP code based on your preferred viewing area). The service includes a variety of sports channels and a 5-day free trial.
Price: 70 USD/month
Channels: ESPN, ABC, NBA TV
FuboTV is a fantastic, if pricey, option for streaming NBA games. A 7-day free trial is available for those who don’t want to commit to a subscription.
Price: 70 USD/month
Channels: ESPN, ABC, TBS, TNT
Hulu+Live TV carries six national channels broadcasting NBA games, along with ESPN, ABC, TBS, and TNT. Note that it does not offer a free trial at this time, however, and requires both a U.S. ZIP code and credit card billing address.
Recapping the 2021-22 NBA season
The 2021-22 NBA season featured no shortage of intriguing storylines. Here were the most noteworthy events and incidents from the league’s 75th campaign:
Kyrie Irving’s one-man stand: The Brooklyn Nets envisioned the makings of a future dynasty when they partnered Irving with forward Kevin Durant in the summer of 2019. Instead, the most memorable part of Irving’s tenure in New York City thus far has been his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine. The 2011 No. 1 overall pick refused to get vaccinated, which prevented him from playing Nets home games early in the 2021-22 season because of New York’s vaccine rules. Although the Nets essentially kept Irving away from the team at first, the franchise later welcomed him back as a part-time player. Not that it mattered much—the Boston Celtics swept the Nets in the first round of the playoffs.
LeBron James and the Lakers hit rock bottom: Remember when the Lakers celebrated a 17th NBA Finals title in the Orlando bubble in October 2020? It’s been all downhill from there. Although James averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.2 assists over 56 games this past season, the Lakers went a dismal 33-49 and missed the postseason for the second straight year. Veteran point guard Russell Westbrook didn’t fit in, All-Star big man Anthony Davis played only 40 games because of injuries, and LA wasted James’ age-37 season. Though Father Time may finally be catching up with The King, James is expected to return to the Lakers next season ahead of his 38th birthday.
We should never have trusted The Process: There is no disputing that Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is a superstar and one of the NBA’s premier talents. However, the 76ers’ decision to spend several years, including Embiid’s first few seasons, fielding weak rosters to attempt securing high draft picks doesn’t look wise in hindsight. The Sixers gave up on forward Ben Simmons, the 2016 draft’s No. 1 overall pick, and dealt him to Brooklyn for James Harden earlier this year. However, Philly didn’t make it out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, falling in six games to Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.
The new-look West: The Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs all spent much of the 2010s as legitimate title contenders. None reached the playoffs this year. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns have re-established themselves as a fearsome franchise for the first time since the Steve Nash era, and the once-lowly Minnesota Timberwolves made only their second playoff appearance since 2004.
Nikola Jokić is no joke: Did you know that every player who has won the NBA MVP Award and is eligible for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has earned induction? Jokić has put himself on the Hall of Fame path, especially after averaging 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, and 1.5 steals across 74 games this season. The four-time All-Star won his second consecutive MVP Award and hit a career-high 58.3% of his shots. Not bad for a former second-round pick.
2022 NBA Christmas Day games
As is tradition, the NBA will have five Christmas Day matchups during the 2022-23 season. Here’s the star-studded schedule for Dec. 25.
|Game||Time and Network|
|New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers||12 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. BST (ESPN)|
|Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers||2:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. BST (ABC/ESPN)|
|Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks||5 p.m. ET / 10 p.m. BST (ABC/ESPN)|
|Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies||8 p.m. ET / 1 a.m. BST (ABC/ESPN)|
|Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns||10:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 a.m. BST (ESPN)|
Other professional basketball leagues
Although the 2021-22 NBA season is over, basketball fans will have no shortage of alternative leagues to watch this summer. Here’s our guide on how to get your basketball fix throughout the NBA offseason:
NBA Summer League
What to know: All 30 teams will field rosters primarily consisting of rookies, young players, and veterans trying to earn a regular-season spot during an 11-day, 75-game competition this summer. The official NBA 2K23 Summer League will mostly take place in Las Vegas, with some July games also happening in San Francisco and Salt Lake City.
The Basketball Tournament (TBT)
What to know: Although the NBA Summer League is primarily focused around younger players, The Basketball Tournament provides a flashback to stars of old. Former college basketball and NBA standouts will represent their alma maters in a 64-team tournament in Dayton, Ohio. The winning team will earn a 1 million USD cash prize.
Notable names expected to participate in the 2022 TBT include former BYU guard and National Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette (The Money Team), ex-Syracuse standout Tyler Ennis (Boeheim’s Army), and longtime NBA veteran C.J. Miles (Sideline Cancer). Amen and Ausar Thompson, two projected 2023 lottery picks, are expected to play for Team Overtime.
Our favorite way to watch with a VPN: Games will air on ESPN starting with the tip-off on July 16 and culminating with the championship game on Monday, July 25. SlingTV offers ESPN at an affordable rate.
What to know: Ice Cube’s popular 3-on-3 pro basketball league is back for another year. Former Brooklyn Nets shooting guard and seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson dropped 30 points in the 2022 opener and still looks sharp despite turning 41 this summer. Other notable names include former Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley, high-flying dunker Gerald Green, and ex-Orlando Magic big man Rashard Lewis. Teams will play an eight-week regular season, a two-week postseason, and end the year with an All-Star Weekend trip to the Bahamas from September 3-4.
Our favorite way to watch with a VPN: Although BIG3 will stream some games on its official YouTube channel, other games will air on CBS, Paramount+, and DAZN. Make sure to check the league’s comprehensive schedule.
Key dates for the 2022-2023 NBA season
|Opening Night||TNT||October 18, 2022|
|NBA Global Games (Mexico City)||NBA TV||December 17, 2022|
|Christmas Day||ABC, ESPN||December 25, 2022|
|Martin Luther King Jr. Day||TNT, NBA TV||January 16, 2023|
|NBA Global Games (Paris)||NBA TV||January 19, 2023|
|NBA Rivals Week||TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV||January 24-28, 2023|
|NBA All-Star 2023||TNT||February 17-19, 2023|
|NBA Playoffs||TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV||April 15-June 2023|
FAQ for streaming sports
Can I stream sports on my computer?
Can I stream sports on my phone or tablet?
How can I stream on my TV with a VPN?
In brief there are five different ways to stream sports on your TV with ExpressVPN:
-With the native app for a smart TV or streaming device
-By streaming on your computer and connecting to the TV with an HDMI cable
-By mirroring or casting wirelessly to your TV or streaming device from your computer or mobile device
-By connecting to an ExpressVPN-enabled router, which allows for unlimited devices and makes it super simple to connect to different server locations simultaneously
-With MediaStreamer, ExpressVPN’s solution for devices that cannot install a VPN, such as Apple TV or gaming consoles. MediaStreamer only needs to be set up once, although it does not provide the full security benefits of a VPN. (Note that by connecting your Apple TV or gaming console to a router, you can get the best of both worlds!)
For more information on all the ways to get ExpressVPN on your big-screen TV, click here or contact a 24/7 Support agent for step-by-step instructions.
I connected to the suggested VPN server location but I can’t log in to the streaming service!
No worries! Server load changes rapidly (especially when lots of people are trying to watch certain events), but that’s exactly why ExpressVPN has high-speed servers all over the world. If you’re trying to access a site in the U.S. or Germany, for instance, try connecting to a different server location in those countries.
If you’re trying to connect to a country with one server location, the first step is to check your location settings. If you’re on a mobile device, disconnect from the VPN, turn off location services, then connect to the VPN again. On both Windows and Mac computers, you can turn off Location Services within the Privacy & Security settings menu.
For more help, you can always talk to a member of our Support Team, available 24/7 by live chat.
I connected to the VPN but my internet speed is slow
If your internet speed is slow or your streaming seems to lag, there are a few possible reasons:
-The distance of your selected VPN server location from your physical location
-Your connection type (wired connections are more reliable than wireless connections)
-Suboptimal interconnectivity between the VPN and your ISP
-Slow internet connection speed at your location
-Your device type and processing power
Try each of the following steps to troubleshoot:
-Download the latest version of ExpressVPN
-Connect to a different VPN server location
-Change your VPN protocol
If you try each of the above and are still experiencing issues with your streaming speed, contact the ExpressVPN Support Team 24/7 and someone will be with you in seconds.
What other streaming services can I watch with ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN works seamlessly with all the most popular streaming apps from around the world. Using a VPN for streaming ensures you watch securely in blazing-fast HD with unlimited bandwidth, free from ISP throttling (which can sometimes slow down speeds). If you want to watch your favorite team from anywhere—even while traveling or on unsecured networks like public Wi-Fi—ExpressVPN is a great way to enhance your sports streaming experience.