…I didn’t want to discuss the NBA Finals, but there’s something that needs to be addressed. Despite the presence of LB James and the Miami Heat once again, the NBA Finals were down from last year’s record of 11.4 nationally to a 10.7.
Despite the ratings “drop”, the first game of the 2013 Finals was the third highest rated Finals since 2004, only trailing a The Lakers – Celtics final in 2008 and last season’s Oklahoma City – Miami final.
Naturally, at least one national douchebag from ESPN decided to deride the Spurs for the allegedly “low” rating. And some scroat from Houston of all places, states the “presence of the Spurs means the series is still a lead-pipe cinch to be one of the five lowest-rated series in modern history.”
Like I’d link to that douchebag’s dying paper.
Finals game one was the highest rated Game 1 Finals ever in Miami, drawing a 34.0. San Antonio surpassed even that titanic rating with a 35.3.
Here’s a harsh reality for the NBA and its fans: This is why people like me believe games are fixed. There’s way too much concern about ratings from basketball analysts. You hardly ever hear about baseball broadcasters talking about a certain team dragging down ratings during the World Series. The NBA is super insecure about its place in the pantheon of sports. There’s a good reason why: The casual fan doesn’t appreciate team play, and/or likes a certain player the league has selected for favoritism from its hype machine.
Perhaps people like commissioner Stern should take a page from the NFL and do something to encourage competitive balance around the league. You know it and I know it: Every year, there are only four or five teams in the NBA with a legitimate shot to make it to the Finals. If I’m a fan of the Milwaukee Bucks, I know I not only have no shot to win a title in the next five years, I know I’m not going to have a shot to win in the next 30 years. Same thing with the Timberwolves, Jazz or any one of about 15 franchises. There’s no reason for a fan of at least half the league to watch their home franchise.
Allowing super teams along the coasts to stockpile players has eliminated competitive balance in the league. Your team has to be very fortunate to win by getting superstars in the draft, or by acquiring them the free agent route. There’s really no reason for about 10 – 12 NBA teams to exist.