Trevor Freeman
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May 23 - NBA Not On Schedule

No Game 7s on Saturday.  No doubleheader on Sunday with the NBA Draft lottery nudged in
between.  Is Mickey Mouse currently in charge of NBA programming……..wait a second…..don’t
answer that…..

In what has been the finest NBA playoffs in recent memory, the games
are going largely unwatched and that can be attributed to one man.  
David Stern.  This ridiculous television contract the NBA signed in 2002 is
KILLING the league.  Everybody talks the about the influx of high
schoolers and foreigners as the problem, I say it’s the lack of being on
network television.  

In 2002, the NBA made the decision to leave NBC for an extra $75 million
a year.  Now, I know what you are thinking.  Heck you give me $75 million;
I’m drinking Johnnie Walker Blue Label for the rest of my life and living in
the Real World suite at the Palms for a solid month.  However, while $75
million may seem like a lot of jack, if you divide that up by 30 teams, it’s basically pocket change for
owners who already make the Forbes 500.  If you take into account that the value of their franchises
has dropped since the NBA as a whole is less watched in America than it was ten years ago the $75
million a year really seems insignificant.

Due to the NBA’s ridiculous television contract, the Dallas-San Antonio game and the Phoenix-
Clippers Game 7s aired on Monday night.  In what world did this make sense?  The only people who
can get together and go out drinking for the game are between the ages of 18 and 22.  Toss in the
fact that 70% of these people are either going to need to find a bar with a lax carding policy or a parent
who doesn’t care if kids get ripped in their basement and the problem really escalates.  There’s no
worse day of the week than Monday.  I can’t stress enough how completely idiotic it was to have two
eliminators on a Monday night.  The Phoenix-Clippers series has been by far the most enjoyable to
watch yet 97.6% of people living on the East Coast slept right through it.   

I spoke of a chasm that has formed amongst basketball fans in an article I wrote on Adam Morrison
and I bring it up again because this is huge and it will not be solved by a dress code.  Currently, the
game of basketball has three groups of followers.  They are:

1.  College fans that have utter disdain for the NBA.  
2.  Pro fans that couldn’t give two craps about college hoops until March rolls around.
3.  A shrinking group of people like me who religiously watch both college hoops and the NBA.

The only way you solve this chasm is by getting good matchups on television for everybody to watch.  
By not airing a series so aesthetically pleasing as the Phoenix Suns-Los Angeles Clippers has been,
you only embolden fans of the college game who couldn’t give a flying f*ck about the NBA.  These are
the ones who say, “the college game is just a better game” or “I use to watch when you had Magic,
Larry, and Michael playing”.

Proponents of the NBA game point to the influx of stars like James, Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and
Chris Paul.  However, 58.2% of Americans have no idea what team Chris Paul even plays for.  That’s
because the games aren’t on network television.  The NBA needs “the NBA on NBC” more than NBC
does and that is saying a lot because NBC has been greenlighting shows like “Heist”, “Celebrity
Cooking Showdown”, and “Book of Daniel”.  The NBA needs to win back the casual sports fan.  

If you don’t buy my argument then I end with this final plea for acceptance.  If Paul Tagliabue was in
charge of the NBA would he ever have a game as big as the Phoenix-Clippers playoff tilt air at 10:30
EST on a Monday night?  Of course he wouldn’t.  Because it just doesn’t make sense.



If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail me at
trevor.freeman@realityfanforum.com.