NBA viewership has been on the decline this season and there are a few reasons why. A lot of people blame Lebron for going west and ruining the debate of will Lebron make it to the finals again and defeat the ever daunting Golden State Warriors. Lebron is an easy blame. He is a polarizing figure, and not only did the aforementioned move West have some play in this, he was also hurt for a good chunk of the year and at times seemed distracted. Lebron not even being in the hunt for a playoff spot is clearly going to hurt viewership from casual fans.
Now before dive into my view on this, please keep in mind that I do think lebron’s injury, distractions, and move west played a role, I do not believe it’s not the biggest issue affecting the NBA Today.
The number one thing hurting the NBA today is simple. The Golden State Warriors. This team is stacked with 5 former all stars in their primes. Who is supposed to beat them? No one, there is no narrative where they somehow manage to lose this year…just like last year….and the year before that. They are on the fast track to 3 straight titles and it shocks absolutely no one.
There’s no more stories of teams such as the Timberwolves, who have been a borderline 8th seed the last 2 season, sneaking into the playoffs and making a magic run to win the championship. It’s now you get in as an 8 seed and you’re a stepping stone, there’s no reason to watch it because an 8 seed will always lose to a team like the Warriors, or the Rockets who had to build a super team just to even have a shot at the Warriors.
This is what I think hurts the NBA, the casual fan is sucked out due to the lack of suspense, the lack of competition. No one that doesn’t watch basketball on a consistent is excited to watch their team make it to the playoffs just to lose by 30 points to the Warriors or Rockets in a 7 game series. Nor are they excited to see the Warriors cakewalk to another NBA Finals Championship.