Last October, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the Hong Kong protesters. Little did he know that the Rockets, the NBA and several key basketball stars of the game bowed to China by slamming Morey and apologizing on his behalf.
Rolling over was no surprise for the league given the attempts to drive the game into that populous market to make lucrative sums. LeBron James stands to make up to $1bn from Nike by the time he is 64 thanks to the China market.
Unfortunately, fans at home seem displeased. If the lessons from the NFL kneeling drama weren’t evidence enough, the NBA has also seen ratings plummet so far. Could it be that fans only watch to escape the stresses of a large mortgage, family and work?
“Viewership across ESPN, TNT and NBA TV is down 15% year-to-year overall, according to Nielsen figures. TNT’s coverage is averaging 1.3 million viewers through 14 telecasts, down 21% versus last year’s comparable coverage, while on ESPN the picture isn’t much prettier. The Disney-owned network is down 19%, averaging 1.5 million viewers versus just under 1.9 million viewers at the same stage last year.”
Yet more evidence of how getting woke makes you go broke.
Naturally the league has blamed it on the absence of key stars due to injury. Or maybe it is because paying customers are sick of being lectured to?!