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How to Watch the NBA for Free: A Fan‘s Guide for the 2022-2023 Season

Hey there NBA fan! I know how frustrating it can be trying to watch NBA games without expensive cable or streaming subscriptions. But don‘t worry – there are tons of ways to enjoy NBA action for free if you know where to look.

As a fellow NBA enthusiast, I‘ve done the research and compiled all the best tips and tricks to watch the NBA free this season. Just follow this guide, and you‘ll know how to get your hoops fix on any device without spending a dime. Let‘s dive right in!

Free Streaming Sites – Your Ticket to HD NBA Streams

Free streaming sites should be your first stop to catch NBA games in crystal clear HD quality. I always have 2-3 free stream tabs open to ensure I never miss the action.

Here are the top free NBA streaming sites I rely on:


Without a doubt, Crackstreams is the most popular free NBA site out there. Over 1.8 million basketball fans visited Crackstreams in September 2022 alone according to Similarweb data.

It‘s easy to see why – Crackstreams offers smooth HD streams, multiple server options, and easy navigation. Just visit the site or use the mobile app, select your game, and enjoy!

Downsides are the video player can get overloaded during peak times. Also, the constant pop-up ads are annoying. But overall, Crackstreams is my go-to for high-quality free NBA streams.


For a clean interface without excessive ads, NBAbite is a great option. I‘m able to find stable HD streams effortlessly thanks to the well-organized NBA schedule and team pages.

NBAbite really shines for its awesome community. I always check the user comments to identify the best working streams before tuning in. The votes and feedback ensure you find a reliable feed every time.


When my usual sites get overloaded, Sportsurge becomes my backup plan. It aggregates free live stream links from all over the web, typically delivering 2-3 solid options per NBA game.

Just be ready to close a ton of annoying pop-up ads on Sportsurge. But that‘s a small price to pay for access to premium NBA streams you won‘t find anywhere else.

Social Media – The NBA‘s Official Free Streams

In this day and age, social media has become a go-to destination for live sports. Here‘s how to watch NBA games for free on social platforms:


The NBA broadcasts select live regular season and playoff games on its official Facebook page. Unlike sketchy streaming sites, these streams are 100% legal and reliable.

I just log into Facebook and visit the NBA page. Look for posts mentioning "Live Now" or "Watch Party" and enjoy high-quality NBA action straight from the source.

The best part? Facebook‘s NBA live streams are available worldwide. There‘s no need to worry about annoying local blackout restrictions.


After partnering with the NBA in 2016, Twitter emerged as a prime destination for exciting live NBA content. Twitter streams some regular season games and The Finals in high quality for free.

Finding the games is easy – just open the Twitter app or website and search for the team names (like "Lakers" or "Warriors"). The official live stream will show up at the top.

While there aren‘t as many games as Facebook, Twitter is still a reliable source for free NBA viewing.

Locast – Local Stations for Free

Don‘t overlook Locast as a valuable option to stream local NBA broadcasts. It‘s a non-profit service that provides live access to ABC, ESPN, TNT and regional sports networks.

Here‘s how it works – Locast uses your location to give free access to local OTA stations. Many of those stations show national NBA games and local team broadcasts.

The streaming quality is awesome, just like watching direct cable or OTA antenna feeds. Locast is ad-supported, but a $5 monthly donation removes ads.

The only downside is limited market availability. But if you‘re lucky enough to live in an eligible city like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, be sure to utilize Locast for free NBA action.

Using a VPN to Unlock Restricted Games

Sports streaming services like the NBA app and MLB.TV rely on blackout restrictions to limit access. That‘s where using a VPN comes in handy!

Connecting through a VPN disguises your location, letting you bypass blackout rules. For example, the NBA app offers live streams if you prove cable authentication. But it blocks access outside of the local market.

With a VPN, I simply route my connection through an IP address located in the team‘s city. The NBA app thinks I‘m a local user and grants stream access.

It takes a bit more work than other free options, but a VPN expands your access by fooling sites into thinking you are somewhere else.

The best VPNs I recommend for unlocking geo-blocked NBA content are ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark. Each one provides reliable connection speeds to avoid buffering during NBA streams.

OTA Antenna – Old School but Still Relevant

While everyone is focused on streaming these days, the trusty over-the-air antenna is still one of the best options for free NBA action available today.

Networks like ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV are included in most antenna channel packages. An antenna gives you free access to over 100 nationally televised NBA games throughout the season.

Rather than dealing with low-quality web streams, an HD antenna provides NBA games in full 1080p resolution with smooth 60 FPS performance. Right from the comfort of your living room!

Indoor antennas start around $20. But I recommend investing in a high-quality outdoor antenna for max range. It‘s a one-time purchase that delivers years of free, crystal clear NBA entertainment.

Team and League Apps – Free Content if You Know Where to Look

Don‘t ignore the NBA‘s official apps – they provide a ton of free content if you know how to take advantage!


While League Pass access requires a fee, the NBA app unlocks plenty of freebies:

  • Condensed Games – Enjoy 5-10 minute mini-recaps of every NBA game for free after it ends
  • Live Nationally Televised Games – Stream select games airing on ESPN, ABC and TNT
  • Original Shows – Series like Detail, Film Session and The List serve up NBA analysis, commentary and countdowns

Team Apps

Individual team apps also offer live streams, articles, analysis and more:

  • Live Radio Broadcasts – Listen to free radio coverage for every regular season and playoff game
  • Press Conferences – Watch live weekly media sessions with coaches and players
  • Behind-the-Scenes Video – Go inside the locker room and facilities with exclusive team content

Don‘t overlook these free app features. They are a nice complement to actual live games.

Account Credits on Streaming Services

Streaming TV bundles like Sling TV, DirecTV Stream and FuboTV seem expensive, but account credits and free trials make them viable to watch the NBA for free.

Almost every major streaming bundle offers a free trial for new users. You can sign up, stream a ton of live NBA action, and then cancel before the trial ends:

  • Sling TV – 3 days free, offers NBA TV and League Pass add-on
  • DirecTV Stream – 5 days free, choice of ESPN, TNT and regional sports
  • FuboTV – 7 days free, strong overall sports package

Additionally, keep an eye out for promos offering free account credit from these services:

  • Sling TV – Currently offering 50% off your first month, comes out to about $20 of free credit
  • DirecTV Stream – Ran a recent deal for $20 in account credit over 3 months
  • FuboTV – Sometimes provides 1-2 weeks of free service credit for new users

These credits stretch your access to NBA games for free even longer. Sign up strategically to maximize the free trial periods and account credits.

Rely on Free Previews

Another strategy I use is timing sign-ups around major free previews. Services like NBA League Pass and NBA TV align free previews with the start of each season.

Typically these previews last about a week and overlap with the beginning of the NBA regular season. By signing up at the right time, I catch all of the debut games for free before the preview ends.

Keep an eye out for announcements from AT&T TV, NBA League Pass, NBA TV and more regarding upcoming free previews to maximize your free NBA viewing early in the season.

Highlight Clips on YouTube & Social Media

While you won‘t find full replays anymore due to copyright crackdowns, YouTube remains a solid source for NBA highlights.

Official accounts like the NBA and House of Highlights upload exciting clips, dunks and buzzer-beaters in crisp HD. It‘s awesome for catching all the best moments from NBA games for free in quick 3-5 minute packages.

Beyond YouTube, NBA highlights flourish on Instagram and TikTok. Follow the official NBA accounts and favorite teams to enjoy basketball‘s best plays condensed into short shareable videos.

Take Advantage of Store and Restaurant Promotions

This one may surprise you – stores, restaurants and other local businesses can score you free NBA gear and even League Pass subscriptions through fun promotions!

For example, Taco Bell‘s "Steal a Game, Steal a Taco" offer gives everyone a free taco when the away team wins an NBA Finals game on the road.

Sports bars often provide free t-shirts, drink specials, or even TV raffles for fans during big NBA games. Keep an eye out for local limited time deals tied to exciting NBA events.

Don‘t Forget NBA on the Radio

When I have no other options, I turn to good old fashioned radio broadcasts. While not as flashy as video streams, radio keeps you informed with exciting play-by-play commentary.

My go-to apps for free live NBA radio include:

  • iHeartRadio – Streams local radio coverage from NBA cities across the US
  • TuneIn – Carry national ESPN Radio and local team radio networks
  • SiriusXM – Requires a subscription but has extensive NBA radio content
  • Official Team Apps – Most include a "Listen Live" option for radio feeds

While not ideal, radio allows me to follow the NBA no matter where I‘m at without needing WiFi or cell service.

The Risks of Illegal Streaming

With so many legitimate free options available, I strongly recommend staying away from illegal online NBA streams.

First, these "free" sites with paid content likely contain malware and security risks. One click can infect your device and expose your personal data. It‘s just not worth the risk.

Second, illegal streaming directly takes revenue away from the NBA, teams and networks that are investing in and broadcasting games legally. Don‘t participate in activity that hurts the sport we all love!

Stick to the free options outlined in this guide, and avoid sketchy sites offering paid content for free. Protect your devices, your identity and the NBA by streaming safely and legally!

Whew, that was a lot of info! Let‘s quickly recap all the ways you can stream the NBA for free:

  • Free Streaming Sites – Crackstreams, NBAbite and Sportsurge offer free HD NBA streams
  • Social Media – Facebook and Twitter provide select free official NBA game broadcasts
  • Locast – Free local TV station streaming (select markets only)
  • VPN – Bypass blackout restrictions by masking your location
  • OTA antenna – Access free ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV broadcasts over the air
  • Team & League Apps – Take advantage of free live streams, radio, podcasts & highlights
  • Account Credits – Redeem free trials and account credits from streaming bundles
  • Limited Free Previews – Catch free games at the start of the season from various providers
  • YouTube & Social Media – Follow league and team accounts for highlights and top plays
  • Promotions – Score free gear, merchandise and more through local NBA promos
  • Radio – When all else fails listen to free audio play-by-play

There you have it – a detailed breakdown of the many ways to enjoy NBA action without spending a dime. No more paying crazy costs just to follow your favorite team and players.

Now you can use this guide to watch the NBA free without any hassle. Combine streaming sites, social media, promotions, apps, and good old radio to get your basketball fix on any device.

Never miss the thrills of NBA action again! Feel free to bookmark this page and share it with fellow NBA fans who need to the scoop to watch free.

Enjoy the NBA season! Let‘s watch some electrifying hoops.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.