The 2021 NBA season is here! As of December 22, 22 teams will return to the court for the first half of the regular season, with second half tentatively scheduled for March 11. Read on to make sure you’re ready to watch the NBA live on Kodi when your favorite teams hit the court.
There are a number of great Kodi add-ons, but some try to pass themselves off as “free” while others use pirated streams. Our guide focuses specifically on add-ons that provide official streams to NBA games.
Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions, including illegal streaming through Kodi. Kodi can be used for many excellent, legal online streaming purposes. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading or streaming copyrighted material without permission.
Use a VPN to stream NBA games on Kodi
Many official streaming sources for NBA games are region-locked, and local markets are often blacked out of streams. Furthermore, both official and unofficial Kodi add-ons pose some security risks for Kodi users. For these reasons, we recommend using a VPN when streaming NBA games through Kodi.
Those trying to access NBA games from outside the US or inside the blackout region may need a VPN to get past geographic content blocks. Especially for sporting events like the NBA, broadcast rights typically limit where those streams are broadcast. However, a VPN can help you bypass such geographic blocks and access the NBA streams you want.
A VPN makes it appear as though you are accessing the stream from a different location.
Here’s how to watch NBA 2021 games on Kodi from anywhere:
- Sign up, download, and install a VPN. We recommend IPVanish.
- Open the VPN app.
- Choose a VPN server location where the game can be streamed, typically in the US but outside of the blackout region.
- Connect to the VPN
- Open Kodi and start streaming the game!
Reader deal: We recommend IPVanish, a quality VPN service which is fast enough for streaming and keeps no logs so your activity is private and secure. Our readers can use IPVanish at a 60% discounted rate.
2021 NBA broadcasters
Resuming the 2021 NBA season, four different networks are splitting the broadcasting rights. Here they are in order of most to least games:
- NBA TV
With that in mind, the following Kodi add-ons will offer you the best viewing options.
Official NBA live stream Kodi add-ons
There are several high-quality Kodi add-ons that provide you access to NBA games. These options are fully legal streaming methods that may require a subscription to the broadcaster’s streaming service. All you need to do is create your account, grab your username and password, and enter them into the Kodi add-on. You’ll then be able to access any of these accounts through Kodi.
NBA League Pass
Much of the regular season can be watched through the NBA League Pass online streaming subscription service. An NBA League Pass add-on is available from the official Kodi add-on repository. To install it, open Kodi and go to Add-ons> Package Symbol > Install from repository > Kodi add-on repository > Video Add-ons > NBA League Pass > Install.
A League Pass subscription costs $229.99 for the full regular season, or $129.99 if you only want to follow one specific team.
If you live outside of the US, you will need a VPN to circumvent the geographic restrictions that League Pass has in place. Just connect to a server inside the US before loading a stream. A VPN can also help bypass regional blackouts by connecting to a VPN somewhere outside of the blackout region.
Unfortunately, Team Pass subscribers only get audio streams of the playoffs and finals. You’ll need a League Pass or cable subscription to watch the video, or try one of the Kodi add-ons below.
If you have a Sportsnet account, you can access it through Kodi. You can also purchase a Sportsnet account for CA$27.99/month (about US$22). Sportsnet is a Canadian network that has streaming rights for 36 regular season games, although you’ll be limited to the Toronto Raptors and the playoffs.
This service will provide some great benefit if you’re a sports fan in general, as you’ll be able to use it to watch several MLB games on Kodi, a large number of NHL games, and dozens of Premier League games.
As with the other paid services, you can add your account information to the add-on after you create an account and stream away. You can install the Sportsnet Now add-on by following these steps in your Kodi menu: Add-ons> Package Symbol > Install from repository > Kodi add-on repository > Video Add-ons > Sportsnet Now > Install.
Similar to NBA League Pass, the ESPN Player Kodi addon boasts both live and on-demand sports. Sign up for an account to start watching. Prices start at about $10 per month, and a $7 one-day pass is available, too.
Note that this will only get you the games broadcast by ESPN, and not TNT or ABC. As such, this addon doesn’t offer quite the same value as the others we recommend. That said, if you want to watch every event via Kodi and don’t want to pay for NBA League Pass, the ESPN Player addon is a must-have.
The ESPN Player add-on can be found in the official Kodi addon repository.
Sling TV Kodi addon
Sling TV is a cord-cutting service for live TV streaming. There are two base packages available, both $30 per month. Both options (Sling Blue and Sling Orange) will offer a varied mixture of channels you’ll need for NBA.
Sling Blue provides access to TNT, while Sling Orange comes with ESPN. To maximize your options, you’ll want to sign up for the Sling Orange + Blue package, which costs $45 per month. You can also add ABC and NBA League Pass to your package for additional fees.
All Sling TV packages come with a 7-day free trial unless there’s a running discount.
The Sling TV Kodi addon is available in the Official Kodi Addon Repository. You will need to enter your username and password into the addon through its settings menu.
How to get started with Kodi
Kodi is free and open-source home theater software that can stream media from a huge range of sources–even live basketball games. Compatible with Windows, Mac OSX, Android, and Linux, Kodi can be extended to stream almost anything from the internet using third-party add-ons. That includes Android-based streaming devices like Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. You can find Amazon Fire TV installation instructions for Kodi in our dedicated article.
Download and install Kodi from here. Once that’s done, you can choose from our list of the best add-ons for live streaming NBA games on Kodi, both free and paid. Learn how to install Kodi add-ons and repositories using our tutorial.
Unofficial Kodi add-ons for NBA live streaming
These free Kodi add-ons usually convert over-the-air (OTA) and cable NBA broadcasts into live online streams. While some these broadcasts are offered freely with OTA networks or through paid cable subscriptions, rebroadcasting without permission is not legal in the U.S. and some other countries. We do not recommend or condone users utilize any of the following options, which are all considered unofficial and unapproved by the XBMC Foundation.
You get what you pay for, so don’t expect miracles when searching for a free live stream. Many links will not work. Most will be average or low quality. They might cut out in the middle of the game.
You may find some of these add-ons below promoted as good options on other Kodi-related sites. We’ve provided a small description of what content these add-ons are providing and why you should avoid them.
What is it? SportsDevil might be the most well-known free live streaming sports add-on for Kodi. Users can typically find many working rebroadcasted stream for OTA games here through several different streaming site options.
Why should you avoid it? While investing some time in this add-on may unearth some legitimate content there is certainly plenty of content that falls the wrong side of copyright law and disapproving ISPs. Although it is hugely popular, we do not recommend SportsDevil for NBA streaming. Instead, we recommend users stick with the approved add-ons listed in this article.
UK Turk Playlists
What is it? UK Turk Playlist is huge, but this one is composed primarily of pirated streams. UK Turk Playlists provides many streams from different countries, with a heavy emphasis on US and UK content. This add-on also changes repository locations frequently, generally to evade detection.
Why should you avoid it? UK Turk Playlists is somewhat notorious for how much pirated content it provides. None of the streams given here are legal. Although it offers this content free-of-charge, it does not do so with the permission of the content providers. We do not recommend UK Turk Playlists for any content streaming, especially when it comes to NBA games. We suggest you stick to more legitimate sources listed in the article.
What is it? cCloud TV has thousands of channels from across the globe. Many of these are pirated, but many, particularly many international streams, are legal for you to access. You can likely find the ABC-streamed games here, but you’ll also be able to find some NBA games streamed legally on international TV networks if you look hard enough. As with the other options, be sure to avoid the illegal, pirated streams.
Why should you avoid it? cCloud TV is possibly one of the least-offensive services here, as it does offer a some legitimate content. However, if you’re looking for streams from the US or UK, and in particular, for NBA-related content, you are unlikely to locate streams that are not pirated content. We do not recommend using cCloud TV for NBA streaming due to its use of pirated content. We encourage users to stick to the legitimate options in this article to avoid pirating NBA streams through cCloud TV.
How to install an NBA streaming Kodi add-on and watch live
To install an add-on on Kodi, you’ll first need to install its repository. A repository is sort of like a library full of add-ons that you can pick and choose from. Once the repository is installed, you can either manually install add-ons from it or use an add-on installer.
You can find more detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures on how to install Kodi add-ons and repositories in our tutorial. The easiest way is to use an add-on installer and search for the add-on’s name.
Some add-ons can be downloaded directly and installed from a zip file. In that case, you won’t need a repository.