After the great seasons Tyreke Evans, Steph Curry, James Harden, Brandon Jennings, Taj Gibson, Darren Collison, Ty Lawson, and so many more NBA rookies had last season, it’s easy to forget that the consensus #1 player in the 2009 draft didn’t even play a minute of NBA basketball next season.
Once upon a time, Kobe Bryant was one of the best in-game dunkers in basketball. Age and injuries have sapped him of his explosiveness, which makes it rare these days that he dunks at all. On his final trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers fans got a special treat of sorts, even if it was nothing like what we’ve seen from Kobe over the past two decades.
Everyone wants to watch Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
Local television ratings for Warriors games on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area have spiked 120 percent since last season, according to data compiled by the Sports Business Journal. An estimated 209,000 people tune in to CSN Bay Area for the games (plus the numbers of subscribers streaming Warriors’ games through CSNBayArea.com also has spiked this season).
It’s all part of an overall upward trend in ratings for the league, although about half the league’s markets have seen ratings fall.
Overall, as the NBA enters its All-Star break this weekend, the league’s local telecasts are up 6 percent year over year, according to Nielsen. Eleven teams have seen gains in their local ratings this season, while 15 have dropped. Denver Nuggets games on Altitude are flat with last year….
Golden State’s average rating is high enough to rank third in the NBA, an impressive achievement for a big-market team. Three of the top four teams as measured by ratings play in small markets: Cleveland, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Additionally, with a league-best 209,000 households on average watching Warriors games locally this season, Golden State is far outpacing the New York Knicks for their games on MSG (160,000 households) and the Cleveland Cavaliers for their games on FS Ohio (141,000).
Interestingly, ratings for the Lakers are down 16 percent year-over-year, despite this being Kobe Bryant‘s final season, according to the report. That impacts the Lakers in that their massive cable television deal with Time Warner does have ratings ties — the Lakers could get a little less out of this deal than anticipated. Still, the average Lakers’ broadcast draws 92,000 viewers, fifth largest in the league.
LeBron has Cavaliers ratings up 36 percent over a year ago. The three biggest drops in ratings percentage wise are Atlanta (33 percent), New Orleans (33 percent), and Washington (34 percent). The average Pelicans game draws 7,000 viewers, according to the report.
That discrepancy in local television viewership — and the money that affords teams in local television deals — you can be sure is something the owners will fight about more in the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement discussions. There already is some sharing of that revenue, but as the gap grows you can expect a push from smaller markets to grow that sharing model (the only time rich owners suddenly want socialism in their lives). Expect the players’ union to bring it up as well when the owners cry poverty.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love will return to the lineup Monday after missing a game because of a bruised left thigh.
Cleveland hosts Sacramento on Monday night.
Love sat out for the first time this season on Saturday in a win over New Orleans. He was injured in the third quarter of Friday’s loss to Boston and didn’t return.
He is averaging 15.9 points and 10.5 rebounds.
Love participated in Monday’s shootaround. He is nearing a pair of career milestones, needing three points to reach 9,000 and three field goals to hit 3,000.