The loud scream heard in the city yesterday came from the NBA league offices as David Stern was celebrating the fact that Sunday nights NBA Finals game was the highest rated finals game 6 in 11 years. Game 6 was watched more than the Tony Awards and that is not the norm.
The Mavs clincher drew a 15.0 rating, making it the 3rd highest rated NBA Finals game since ABC began broadcasting the finals in 2003. The overall numbers of this series were down compared to last season, but that is because last season’s final featured an all-time rivalry with the Lakers and Celtics and went to a game 7.
The high ratings for the series prove LeBron going to Miami was a good move for the NBA. Many thought it was bad for the league, but it gave people a reason to watch the NBA. They wanted to watch LeBron James and the Heat fail. Since ”the Decision,” LeBron has become a major lightening rod, drawing the casual fan back to the NBA. I guarantee there is no chance a finals game would get a 15.0 rating if LeBron were playing in the finals with Cleveland.
Casual fans have not been paying attention to the NBA in recent years and it appears they have returned which is good news for the league. Sports fans are always looking for a team to hate and the Heat now join the Yankees, Cowboys, Duke, and Notre Dame.
To prove how much attention LeBron gets, the story of the finals was not even Dallas winning. Dallas winning was almost like a foot note. If you watched all the media coverage after the game, the Mavs winning the title got 30 seconds of coverage and the Heat loss and LeBron choking under the pressure got an hour. I actually felt bad for the Mavs because they received so little attention, but in the sports world we all love negativity. Just look at 90% of my articles.
By Rob Bonanni