ESPN/ABC Accidentally Uses Footage Showing Twin Towers Standing During Heat, Knicks NBA Playoff Game

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The Miami Heat defeated the New York Knicks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday afternoon in the NBA Playoffs. The Heat went into Madison Square Garden in New York City and beat the Knicks on their home floor. As part of the broadcast coverage, ESPN/ABC used some stock video of the city.

Unfortunately, that footage is over 20 years old and shows the Twin Towers still standing.

During halftime of the game, ESPN/ABC showed Steph Curry heading into the arena for the upcoming NBA Playoffs Game 7 between the Warriors and Kings. Then, it went to commercial break. As is customary, they hit a sponsor on the way to break.

While the promo for MetaQuest was on the screen, ESPN/ABC used some footage of New York City. It’s pretty standard practice to use stock video that was previously shot. What’s not customary, however, is using video from over 22 years ago.

Clearly you can see the World Trade Center buildings in the background, behind the Statue of Liberty. This is incompetence to the highest degree.

As part of broadcast coverage for Knicks/Heat NBA Playoff game, ESPN/ABC used stock video of NYC that shows the Twin Towers still standing.
As part of broadcast coverage for Knicks/Heat NBA Playoff game, ESPN/ABC used stock video of NYC that shows the Twin Towers still standing. (Screenshot: ABC/ESPN)

Not only is the footage over two decades old, but it shows two buildings standing that carry great significance in the United States.

Seeing those towers standing could be seen as quite insensitive to Americans. Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

And here is ESPN/ABC showing footage of the towers standing, as though nothing happened.

How is that footage even still in ESPN/ABC’s library? As mentioned, it’s AT LEAST 22 years old. Could be 25 years old or more.

In today’s day and age, when footage is relatively easy to capture, why not update the library? Especially when it comes to something that carries the significance of the Twin Towers?

Not only that, but they’ve yet to correct the mistake. The replay of the game is posted on and the footage is still there.

OutKick reached out to ESPN for comment.

“We mistakenly used an old stock image and we apologize,” the company said in a statement.

It’s not the first mistake they’ve made with their NBA Playoffs programming this weekend, either. In the lead-up to the Nuggets/Suns Game 1, ESPN’s main graphic misspelled the word “tonight.”

Though not nearly as egregious, still poor work by the network.

Perhaps those layoffs are having an impact already.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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