NBA ratings tank to start the season.

Why aren't people watching the NBA this season?


  • Total voters
    21

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
#2
there are many factors here. Just to name a few, it is still NFL and College Football season and those two are way more popular than the NBA. I understand that those leagues are played on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays & Thursdays. Then you have a lot of injuries to big name players early in the season; Curry, Klay, KD, Irving, Zion, PG, etc. Third, you have teams sitting players out early in the season due to "rest" or "load management" and I'd imagine that is irritating some fans who pay to watch those guys or tune in to watch them.
 
#3
I watch NBA basketball but not as much as few years ago, certainly not as much as decade or so ago. Main reason: I've always liked college basketball better than pro basketball, same with college football, preferring over NFL. The amazing college pageantry, pure sport action, much less whining, genuine sportsmanship displayed routinely. NCAA basketball Final Four tournament every year most exciting event all of sports, IMO. But to dive bit deeper. NBA game often rather boring for the most part. Seemingly no different that some open court street ball action. 40 minutes of jacking tons of threes, tons of fouls, missed fouls, iso ball galore - boring. But if one tunes into last 4-5 minutes then the action can be worth it. Suddenly defense tightens, fans sitting on edge of their seat, players, coaches employing end of game strategy, often down to the wire intense crunch time. Maybe it's always pretty much been like that near the end but that's no excuse. NBA knows its product becoming less attractive and will now try to revive interest with proposed new expanded playoff format - we'll see.
 
#5
Agree with the above--it is a multi-pronged issue. For me, the overarching problem is a devaluation of the regular season. It seems that the NBA would concur given the floated schedule changes that we have heard over the last two days. However, I do not think they are addressing the proper causes.

1. There are no rivalries anymore--initially de-fanged by the post Malice-at-the-Palace rule changes, NBA rivalries were delivered the coup de grace by the player empowerment era. There are individual player beefs and stuff, but there is no national level regular season game I feel compelled to watch. There's nothing like Reggie Miller returning to the scene of the crime at the Garden, or a Heat/Knicks matchup, and certainly NOTHING on the level of early 2000s Kings/Lakers--conference matchups where the regular season games were further chapters in a long-running, and constantly simmering, feud. The national conversation now is about: will the two superstars from these two teams decide to play together next summer? That's literally the lead-in from the ESPN studio shows. Why should I care about the game about to played when the entire league seems to exist in a virtual reality of "Next Summer"?

2. It is a superstar league, and Lebron is the most ubiquitous, and yet easily the most boring, superstar in living memory. Now, I think he is as flawed as any other superstar we've had, but he's choked off any and all potential negative coverage and made the entire conversation unspeakably boring. How this guy vaulted 7-8 better players to automatically be anointed as #2 all-time behind MJ just floors me. And yet, all the national media stoically nod their heads and agree that yes, this man who waltzed to NBA Finals in the worst conference of my lifetime, and then lost a clear majority of those contests, is 100% better than the Dream, Magic, Bird, Kobe, Kareem, Timmy, etc. His HS freshman son's games are covered on the ESPN landing page--it's ridiculous. Him going to the Lakers magnified the league's and media's worst tendencies by an order of magnitude, and its off-putting for 29 other fanbases. What's the appeal in watching a national game that's simply a Lakers and Lebron infomercial? No, thank you.

2A. Harden--watching him is a beating.

3. For Slim and fellow travelers like me--legislating the big man out of the game has been a massive disappointment. It's probably, mostly, a result of #1 in that most of those feuds started as hard fought post battles. But, it feels like the game is simply trading 3-pt shooting hot streaks right now, and it's kind of boring for those that grew up on the more nuanced game of prior eras. I'll still watch the Kings, but I really don't care about whether or not the Jazz will get hot enough from beyond the arc to close out the Uber-boring Rockets on a Thursday night.
 
#6
Its been the same damn teams with the same damn players on national TV all the time for multiple years now. Embiid and Simmons don't excite me anymore. The Celtics I find disinteresting. Then you have the Clippers on every other night with Kawhi sitting out. It just feels like watching a rerun of a TV show.

Then you've got the Pelicans who are a young, interesting team but Zion is out. The Warriors suck this year, which I'm happy about, but they're hard to watch. And as always you've got Harden taking 500 shots a game while his teammates watch.

I like watching young, exciting teams like the Hawks, Suns, Grizzlies and even the Bulls to an extent now with Coby White. While they've been on TV occasionally, it's just not been enough for me.
 
Last edited:

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
#7
Agree with the above--it is a multi-pronged issue. For me, the overarching problem is a devaluation of the regular season. It seems that the NBA would concur given the floated schedule changes that we have heard over the last two days. However, I do not think they are addressing the proper causes.

1. There are no rivalries anymore--initially de-fanged by the post Malice-at-the-Palace rule changes, NBA rivalries were delivered the coup de grace by the player empowerment era. There are individual player beefs and stuff, but there is no national level regular season game I feel compelled to watch. There's nothing like Reggie Miller returning to the scene of the crime at the Garden, or a Heat/Knicks matchup, and certainly NOTHING on the level of early 2000s Kings/Lakers--conference matchups where the regular season games were further chapters in a long-running, and constantly simmering, feud. The national conversation now is about: will the two superstars from these two teams decide to play together next summer? That's literally the lead-in from the ESPN studio shows. Why should I care about the game about to played when the entire league seems to exist in a virtual reality of "Next Summer"?

2. It is a superstar league, and Lebron is the most ubiquitous, and yet easily the most boring, superstar in living memory. Now, I think he is as flawed as any other superstar we've had, but he's choked off any and all potential negative coverage and made the entire conversation unspeakably boring. How this guy vaulted 7-8 better players to automatically be anointed as #2 all-time behind MJ just floors me. And yet, all the national media stoically nod their heads and agree that yes, this man who waltzed to NBA Finals in the worst conference of my lifetime, and then lost a clear majority of those contests, is 100% better than the Dream, Magic, Bird, Kobe, Kareem, Timmy, etc. His HS freshman son's games are covered on the ESPN landing page--it's ridiculous. Him going to the Lakers magnified the league's and media's worst tendencies by an order of magnitude, and its off-putting for 29 other fanbases. What's the appeal in watching a national game that's simply a Lakers and Lebron infomercial? No, thank you.

2A. Harden--watching him is a beating.

3. For Slim and fellow travelers like me--legislating the big man out of the game has been a massive disappointment. It's probably, mostly, a result of #1 in that most of those feuds started as hard fought post battles. But, it feels like the game is simply trading 3-pt shooting hot streaks right now, and it's kind of boring for those that grew up on the more nuanced game of prior eras. I'll still watch the Kings, but I really don't care about whether or not the Jazz will get hot enough from beyond the arc to close out the Uber-boring Rockets on a Thursday night.
Speaking of superstars, I don't remember an era where the current crop of superstars are boring me to death and I have almost zero interest in tuning in to watch them. Just to name a few; Leonard, Curry, Durant, Davis, etc. The only star players that I do like watching are Embiid and Giannis
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#9
2. It is a superstar league, and Lebron is the most ubiquitous, and yet easily the most boring, superstar in living memory.
LeBron is still the same "boring" superstar he was a couple years ago, when rating were ridiculous... I think that people who already live on the west coast grossly underestimate the effect LeBron moving to the west coast had on basketball watchers on the east coast. Not even most diehard LBJ stans are trying to stay up until one in the morning on a random Tuesday, just to see him play.
 
#11
You should love yourself more.
Troll.


I blame ESPN. Every time a new young player breaks out their rhetoric is "when will they join the Lakers or Knicks?" Every up and coming player is eventually going to join one of those 2 teams.

I get sick of hearing about how such and such great young player is going to the Lakers when his contract is up. Stop pushing that rhetoric and enjoy the fact that teams have good players that their fans love watching.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#14
They say not to feed it...so I wont
I'm sorry, who started what? How do you have the audacity to call me a troll, when you're the one who started **** with me? I'm over here, minding my business, and you're walking around calling me a troll, in multiple threads.

Which, technically, is against forum policy, and I'd be within my purview to ding you for. But I let you cook, 'cause I'm nice like that.
 
#15
I used to get home from work and turn on a game. Then I had a kid. And my NBA time plummeted dramatically. Nba demographics probably skew younger in general and it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of that group is finding less time to watch due to changing life circumstances as they get older. I’m sure I’ll start watching a lot more when my kid(s) stop demanding nearly every second of my attention.
 
#16
Ill get home from work about 5;30 and turn on a game strictly out of habit unless my team of interest is playing. I usually just have the tv on for background noise as i get dinner ready for me and my daughter. The only team I've found myself watching on a consistant basis is the Mavs. Thats the only intrigue I've found and thats where my time goes. Thats all ill say to that.
With regard to the kings, I've probably watched one full game this season. Last season maybe a couple. I use to be a hardcore fan but I'm done wasting my time on a bad product. That'll make me a bad fan in many people eyes and I really don't give a crap.

As to what itzcoatl said above, as my daughter has moved into her teens I've found i do have more time for basketball. Im just not gonna waste it watching a consistantly bad product anymore. Those other super teams mentioned above just don't interest me. It's boring basketball, IMO.
 
#18
Agree with the above--it is a multi-pronged issue. For me, the overarching problem is a devaluation of the regular season. It seems that the NBA would concur given the floated schedule changes that we have heard over the last two days. However, I do not think they are addressing the proper causes.

1. There are no rivalries anymore--initially de-fanged by the post Malice-at-the-Palace rule changes, NBA rivalries were delivered the coup de grace by the player empowerment era. There are individual player beefs and stuff, but there is no national level regular season game I feel compelled to watch. There's nothing like Reggie Miller returning to the scene of the crime at the Garden, or a Heat/Knicks matchup, and certainly NOTHING on the level of early 2000s Kings/Lakers--conference matchups where the regular season games were further chapters in a long-running, and constantly simmering, feud. The national conversation now is about: will the two superstars from these two teams decide to play together next summer? That's literally the lead-in from the ESPN studio shows. Why should I care about the game about to played when the entire league seems to exist in a virtual reality of "Next Summer"?

2. It is a superstar league, and Lebron is the most ubiquitous, and yet easily the most boring, superstar in living memory. Now, I think he is as flawed as any other superstar we've had, but he's choked off any and all potential negative coverage and made the entire conversation unspeakably boring. How this guy vaulted 7-8 better players to automatically be anointed as #2 all-time behind MJ just floors me. And yet, all the national media stoically nod their heads and agree that yes, this man who waltzed to NBA Finals in the worst conference of my lifetime, and then lost a clear majority of those contests, is 100% better than the Dream, Magic, Bird, Kobe, Kareem, Timmy, etc. His HS freshman son's games are covered on the ESPN landing page--it's ridiculous. Him going to the Lakers magnified the league's and media's worst tendencies by an order of magnitude, and its off-putting for 29 other fanbases. What's the appeal in watching a national game that's simply a Lakers and Lebron infomercial? No, thank you.

2A. Harden--watching him is a beating.

3. For Slim and fellow travelers like me--legislating the big man out of the game has been a massive disappointment. It's probably, mostly, a result of #1 in that most of those feuds started as hard fought post battles. But, it feels like the game is simply trading 3-pt shooting hot streaks right now, and it's kind of boring for those that grew up on the more nuanced game of prior eras. I'll still watch the Kings, but I really don't care about whether or not the Jazz will get hot enough from beyond the arc to close out the Uber-boring Rockets on a Thursday night.
Not all my complaints but this really nails most of it.

LeBron is an interesting phenomenon because he isn't fun to root against - you could root against MJ and Kobe or the Lakers or Celtics and feel like you were rooting an underdog with the odds tilted slightly against you but with LeBron it often times feels like you're rooting against the NBA. And with the amount of team jumping he has orchestrated, anyone who roots for him is frankly not my kind of fan.
 
#19
I'd wager it's due to a wide variety of factors. Football remains king of American sports for the majority of viewers (I am not among them). For everybody else, cord cutting and the a la carte nature of streaming services have created intense competition for "television time." There's just too much to watch now to justify engaging regularly with an 82-game NBA season, especially if you're not excited by the product.

I'd also guess that the continued migration of star players to a small handful of teams has damaged the league's reputation a bit. It's harder to care when you know that the best players in the NBA will eventually end up in the biggest markets. Anthony Davis was a Laker a year before he was a Laker, if you know what I mean. Couple that with the skyrocketing prevalence of the three-point shot, and you have a fairly predictable, stale, and homogeneous sport in which most every team approaches their game plan in a strikingly similar way. The NBA, in its desire to handcraft an electrifying product, has somehow managed to achieve the opposite.

Sure, it was thrilling a few years ago to watch players pulling up from three early in the shot clock, on the fast break, from thirty feet out, etc. But now it's old hat. The novelty has worn off. Hell, we don't even call big men who can shoot from deep "stretch 4's" and "stretch 5's" anymore. It's just expected that most players, no matter their size, either enter the NBA with a consistent outside shot or develop one early in their careers. Those who don't often fail to register an impact.

It's entirely possible to have too much of a good thing. There's a reason your parents told you not to fill up on junk food before dinner. The excitement factor of the three-pointer has simply diminished. It's no longer a rare occurrence or a particularly difficult shot, and there's so little stylistic variance around the league to create renewed interest in the face of a flattened NBA landscape. Where can the league even go from here? Is it just escalation? An arms race? Should they invent a four-point shot? Five points for hitting from beyond half court?

The Ringer just published an obituary for the post-up, and while I'm not advocating for a return to an era when the NBA was slow and "boring" (not my assessment), I do question the wisdom of a rule set that essentially railroads teams into a single approach to the game. These are among the reasons I haven't tuned into the NBA much this season. I've watched a few Kings games, watched a couple of nationally-televised games, poked my head into KF.com every now and then. But I'm largely disengaged from the sport. There remain compelling players and compelling narratives around the league. But I'm waiting for the game to get interesting again, to be honest.
 
#20
^Agree with most of this though I think using the NFL is a cop out since they've always been a factor in early season viewership.

Cord-cutting/streaming is an interesting thing because on one hand it has definitely changed the way we consume but most cord-cutters who are sports junkies center their subscriptions around sports. I've been cut for 2 years and it was only when I found a way to fill in 90% of the gaps. Streaming should lead to more accurate numbers for those viewing legally though. (Possibly a good/possibly a bad thing). And the other side of the coin is once you commit to cord cutting it is not a big leap from watching YouTube TV or Sling on your big tv to finding streams for the major sports leagues. NBA should really re-think offering an affordable 1-team pass like they used to when they first started streaming.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#21
... And with the amount of team jumping he has orchestrated, anyone who roots for him is frankly not my kind of fan.
I'll try to make peace with not being your kind of fan. :p


I mean, I am psychologically incapable of rooting for the gd lakers, but I am also temperamentally unwilling to root against LeBron James, so the last couple of seasons have been a source of great cognitive dissonance for me.

The jumping around thing is interesting, though, because there was a point, when we were younger, that players weren't defined by championships, not by media, and not by fans. Like, we laud players like Reggie Miller for playing his entire career with the same team, but we simultaneously have a blind spot in our memories to how nobody ever talked about Reggie like his career had no value, because he didn't win a championship. It's different, now. And, when we turned the corner towards deciding that we would define athletes by championships, athletes then decided that championships mattered more than what sports fans tend to think of as "loyalty." I don't understand how we can have the audacity to criticize athletes for not winning, and then be like, "Hey! Where you going?"
 
#22
I'll try to make peace with not being your kind of fan. :p
While I am not always able to relate to you on this level, I appreciate that you are a pure fan of the game. I am talking about front-runners and band-wagoners more than the guy who actually gets league pass to watch all 30 teams because he just can't get enough.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
#23
Sure, it was thrilling a few years ago to watch players pulling up from three early in the shot clock, on the fast break, from thirty feet out, etc. But now it's old hat. The novelty has worn off. Hell, we don't even call big men who can shoot from deep "stretch 4's" and "stretch 5's" anymore. It's just expected that most players, no matter their size, either enter the NBA with a consistent outside shot or develop one early in their careers. Those who don't often fail to register an impact.
I'd say even this is a little simplistic. It's not merely that it's become "old hat," it's that it's become too ubiquitous. Like, it was cool, when it was only one or two teams doing it. Now, it's closer to twenty-five, and the NBA is trying to legislate the teams that dare to play differently out of the league. Combine that with lazy coaches, and general managers who lack imagination, and we get a stale league.
 
#24
Timeouts have to go how many do we need seriously, watch Fiba games the last 2 minutes are exciting. Nba there’s a timeout after every possession in the last minute of a game where’s the excitement in that
 
#25
Timeouts have to go how many do we need seriously, watch Fiba games the last 2 minutes are exciting. Nba there’s a timeout after every possession in the last minute of a game where’s the excitement in that
I don't think we need less time outs, but getting rid of the 20 seconds was dumb. Sometimes you just take a time out to save a possession.
 
#26
I don't think we need less time outs, but getting rid of the 20 seconds was dumb. Sometimes you just take a time out to save a possession.
there shouldn’t be a timeout after every possession in the last minute, there professionals they got it the fina game is so much better because of this.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#28
I don't think we need less time outs, but getting rid of the 20 seconds was dumb. Sometimes you just take a time out to save a possession.
It might be interesting if under 2 minutes in the game, all timeouts that a team holds convert to true "substitution" timeouts. You can advance the ball as normal, and you can substitute, but you can't draw up plays and the team can't approach the bench (delay-of-game penalty, regardless of whether delay-of-game warning has been issued, for in-game players approaching the bench or coach leaving the coaching box). Obviously you'd allow a coach to yell out the out-of-bounds play or the defense he wants, or to check in a player with that info, but all coaching would have to be "pre-packaged", something teams know from practice and not fresh plays. Could be interesting. Then the only thing that would stop the game for more than a substitution would be a replay review.
 
#29
It might be interesting if under 2 minutes in the game, all timeouts that a team holds convert to true "substitution" timeouts. You can advance the ball as normal, and you can substitute, but you can't draw up plays and the team can't approach the bench (delay-of-game penalty, regardless of whether delay-of-game warning has been issued, for in-game players approaching the bench or coach leaving the coaching box). Obviously you'd allow a coach to yell out the out-of-bounds play or the defense he wants, or to check in a player with that info, but all coaching would have to be "pre-packaged", something teams know from practice and not fresh plays. Could be interesting. Then the only thing that would stop the game for more than a substitution would be a replay review.
I... can't get behind that. Why rush the most meaningful possessions of the game? (and from a cynical/profit driven stand point this is the only time people must sit through ad breaks due to FOMO)

Now if the inverse were true - no drawn plays prior to the final two minutes - that would be golden. Do the single free throw thing here too and you can probably compress 20 minutes out of game time and get a game done in 2 hours.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
#30
I... can't get behind that. Why rush the most meaningful possessions of the game? (and from a cynical/profit driven stand point this is the only time people must sit through ad breaks due to FOMO)

Now if the inverse were true - no drawn plays prior to the final two minutes - that would be golden. Do the single free throw thing here too and you can probably compress 20 minutes out of game time and get a game done in 2 hours.
The inverse would certainly save more time. Obviously, you'd still have to have commercial breaks, though, so I don't think it's a very viable option.