Believe it or not, I actually watched the final 6-7 minutes of the Clippers-Lakers game because Vegas Dave & Holly Sonders were courtside and I wanted to see if anything crazy happened like Bron running over Dave’s Birkin bag. Over that final five minutes Bron just kept passing the ball around the three-point line, wouldn’t take an easy basket and the Lakers gave up a lead, missed something like a dozen threes and lost 111-106. It was brutal. Add in the fact that Patrick Beverley knocked a ball out of Bron’s hand in a critical spot, giving the ball to the Clippers and you have a worst-case scenario for the League.
It wasn’t one of those finishes that turns the NBA on Christmas into one of those can’t miss sports moments on a day where ESPN doesn’t give you viewing options. You would think, based on the lack of options, the game would’ve been a ratings bonanza for the WWL. Eh, bad news…last night’s marquee NBA game was down 14% vs. Bron’s 2018 Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors.
Here I’ve been the guy saying for the last decade or so that there’s no need to watch the regular season games and I would get absolutely drilled for saying the NBA was worthless before the conference finals. I’ve been told there’s all this drama I can’t miss or I won’t know what’s going on in May. I’ve been told by NBA nerds that regular season NBA is the best reality show on TV. I’ve been told that it’s the best drama you can find on TV.
Well, it sure looks like people don’t want to watch the best drama on TV because the NBA is getting drilled in the ratings game.
The NBA's ugly year continues. The much-hyped Lakers-Clippers showdown was down 14 percent from LeBron's Christmas game last year. Overall, the day was down 10 percent.
— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) December 26, 2019
The current deal signed by ESPN and TNT is a 9-year, $24 billion contract that runs through the 2024-25 season.
Here’s how the NBA is trying to get out front of this runaway train that’s going to have ESPN fully triggered from a financial standpoint:
The NBA isn’t surprised its TV ratings are way down. Radical change already was afoot. https://t.co/0VEX6Dj943
— Matt Powell (@NPDMattPowell) December 26, 2019
December basketball. No need to watch. https://t.co/xDxQrXnjyh
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) December 26, 2019
And here’s the defensive stop that ended the Clippers-Lakers game:
As a fellow Chicago guard, I gotta Stan for Patrick Beverley pic.twitter.com/eM5njPUHIx
— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) December 26, 2019
This is what people got after that Lakers game:
Russell Westbrook missed 21 FG attempts today, tied for the 3rd-most ever on Christmas Day.
There have been 11 instances in the NBA this season of a player missing 20 FG attempts in a game.
James Harden (4) and Russell Westbrook (3) are responsible for 7 of those 11.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 26, 2019
Glad to see I’m not the only viewer that feels this way:
NBA wonders why their TV ratings are tanking? Nothing but wild 3's jumper after jumper needless 3 attempts when all you need is a simple 2 to put the game away, no sensible flow. Makes you wonder why these teams need 5 assistant coaches Just seems players run their own systems.
— Mark IT (@MarkCor28) December 26, 2019