The NBA Finals? Me? Yes.
I actually surprised myself this spring: I watched the NBA playoffs. I’m not talking about the Thunder games. That’s obvious. Of course I watched those games. But I actually watched other teams – team I don’t care about one lick. What is the world coming to when I am actually watching the NBA Finals? Thunder: you have won me over for real. That’s why Jenni Carlson’s column today was so interesting to me. She’s right. There’s so much excitement, and the NBA shouldn’t waste it.
Casual fans have become interested in the league’s stars no matter where they play. Folks in Chicago want to watch Kevin Durant. People in Los Angeles want to check out Derrick Rose. And for better or worse, everyone wants to see LeBron James.
These playoffs put the league’s stars on stage, and they shone bright. The play was outstanding. The competition was great. The drama was high.
But if the NBA has a lockout, especially a prolonged one that cuts into next season, the league is going to jeopardize its increased popularity. Newbie fans who have fueled the increased ratings are most likely to bolt. Their interest is fresh and fragile, and a messy work stoppage will surely drive away many.
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