How was your week

Posted: September 26, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Now I’ve been told and I’ve always thought of myself as a big sports fan, but I’m starting to wonder if there are just too many sports on for this time of the year?

Just last night we had Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals, Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals in the NBA, there where 17 MLB games played last night. There where 18 games scheduled, but one got rained out. There was also a college football game and don’t forget that sports like tennis and golf have their own channels devoted to them; so fans of those sports can watch at any time. I also forgot to mention that they show horse racing from around the country as well as a NASCAR truck series race and even though it’s called sports entertainment WWE had their show Smackdown on last night.

That’s a lot of channel flipping for a sports fan to do or with so many different sports on it makes it hard for that sports fan to choose what he or she is going to watch. Now this has never happened before since normally the NBA and the NHL are done with their seasons by this point of the year, but 2020 is like no other year.

Unfortunately with all of these choices out there one or more of these sports is going to have a reduction of viewers and in this case it seems to be the NBA that is the sport people are not watching. Now I’ve been wondering why people have chosen to turn off the NBA and while I don’t know for sure I have some ideas.

After the NBA signed their deal with ESPN to televise their games the NBA immediately became the main topic of ESPN’s coverage over ever other sport. Now that should’ve been a good thing, but for whatever reason ESPN focuses that coverage on a limited number of players and it takes an extraordinary performance for someone to even get a mention on Sportscenter.

Unless you’re Lebron James then you’re mentioned on ever and any show that covers the NBA. Even the commercials ESPN runs for the NBA seem to place James over every other player in the league and while he’s one of the best players to ever play in the NBA this isn’t good for business.

After a couple of stops with the Cleveland Cavaliers and one with the Miami Heat James landed with one of the NBA marquee teams in the Los Angeles Lakers a few seasons ago. While media focused on this move they seemed to forget that not everyone is a Lakers fan and they want to hear about their favorite team.

James himself hasn’t done the NBA or himself any favors lately. After the Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks was named the NBA’s MVP James went on an interview after a Lakers playoff victory and instead of talking about the game and winning an championship James complained about not being named MVP. That’s not a good look for the player that the television networks are focusing their coverage on.

Then after Game 3 of the Western Conference finals which is the only game the Denver Nuggets have won in this series against the Lakers James and his teammates complained that he wasn’t getting enough foul calls. James only shot two free throws, but in Game 4 of the series James went to the free throw line 14 times as the Lakers took a 3 games to 1 lead in the series by winning Game 4 by 6 points 114-108. Again this is not a good look for someone who is considered the best player in the game today.

The way James has acted probably isn’t the only reason why the NBA’s ratings are way down; 17% at the last report. It’s also the way that ESPN has presented the game. Have the featured anyone else besides James in a commercial for the league or playoffs? It has to be difficult for the league of 30 teams to be of interest when the focus is on just one player in the league.

To be fair ESPN did their best to try and elevate Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans, but he was injured quite often this season and that hurt any promotions that he was featured in. The NBA did everything they could to get Williamson and the Pelicans into the playoffs, but the Pelicans decided to limit their future stars minutes instead of making a playoff run which probably would’ve only lasted one round.

I’m sure it hasn’t helped the NBA and their television providers that it’s been quite clear that it’s been set up for the Lakers to win the NBA title from the start of the season. From the point where they magically moved up in the draft to have enough assets to acquire Anthony Davis from the Pelicans it was clear that the Lakers where being positioned as the front runner for the NBA title. Is it ay fun to watch a sport where you know who’s gong to win? Unless you’re a fan of that team I’d have to say no.

Once you start adding these things up and then you add in that it was as down of a year for the Golden State Warriors as it could’ve been there became no real reason to watch the NBA. If it was Stephen Curry and Golden State challenging the the Lakers in the Western Conference finals NBA ratings might actually be up instead of dropping like they have. Unfortunately injuries derailed the Warriors season early on, but they did get the #1 pick in the draft and I don’t think anyone would be surprised if they where challenging the Lakers next season, but that’s not going to help this seasons ratings.

So the Lakers will cruise into the NBA finals and wait for the winner of the Miami Heat/Boston Celtics series to join them in the finals. I doubt it matters which Eastern Conference team gets into the finals as it’s been clear since before this season started that ESPN and the NBA wanted the Lakers to win the NBA title. Now that they’re going to get their wish the question becomes; will anyone watch them win the title?

You can listen to the live edition of the Sports Time Radio podcast on, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to and you can listen anytime you want.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

  1. I’ve watched virtually none of the NBA or NHL playoffs. It’s hard to sustain any interest in the games and I think the lack of fans is certainly hurting them.
    As to baseball, I have been watching the local teams in action and I’m sure my interest will wane once they’re eliminated.
    The White Sox picked a bad time to slump and the Cubs will virtually back into the division title because the other teams are busy beating each other. But watch out for Cincinnati if they sneak into the playoffs!


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