The NBA did it. Self-inflicted wounds in recent years have led to substantially diminished respect and viewership for the woke league in this year’s NBA Finals. Take Game 5: it’s usually a pivotal game in a seven-game championship series that draws well, and not even those stakes provoked a significant rise in viewership Monday.
Fox News Sports reported that Monday night’s tie-breaking Game 5 attracted an audience of 13.025 million viewers. That represents “a massive step down from Game 5’s of the past and other games in the NBA’s most-watched series of the year,” writes Outkick blogger Alejandro Avila.
Game 5 matchups in recent years all drew anywhere from 4-6 million more viewers than this week’s contest. Why the drop? There’s been a lot of floodwater passing under the NBA bridge since then. China, the NBA’s left-wing Democrat-partial politics, and repetitive attacks on the Second Amendment, for starters.
A 2017 NBA Finals game drew nearly 19.7 million. A year later, a single Finals game attracted 18.5 viewers and then it fell to 17.5 million in 2019, OutKick’s Cortney Weil reported. In 1998 when Michael Jordan’s Bulls met Karl Malone’s Utah Jazz, nearly 36 million fans watched the final game.
The NBA enterprise is now a dwarf in comparison to those figures. This year’s five Finals games have plummeted to 11.9 million, 11.9 million, 11.5 million, 12.1 million and 13 million.
Avila noted, “The NBA’s gradual decline in viewership over the past several seasons has run concurrently with several topics debated around the Association, including their avid political messaging during broadcasts, waning interest in matchups and a strained connection with a critical portion of the NBA’s viewership in China.
Several NBA players – most notably LeBron James – reap windfall profits from Chinese-made athletic apparel. Outkick previously reported that 17 NBA players earn millions of dollars off Chinese slave-labor cotton. That’s a huge turn-off to fans who see the hypocrisy of American jocks railing against so-called U.S. injustice while holding out their hands to China for ill-gotten gains.
NBA owners are even more complicit. They are woke at home and deeply intertwined in business with Chinese communists.
NBA coaches Steve Kerr, of Golden State, and Gregg Popovich, of San Antonio, have long criticized Republican politicians and demanded gun control.
Adam Silver, the NBA’s commissioner, thinks his league is helping world relations. It’s not soft on China, he falsely claims.
It’s all too much for many basketball fans who’ve tuned out of the NBA’s radical politics and social justice.