Contrary to reports, Jeanie Buss says the money from the Time Warner deal is set, guaranteed regardless of ratings. The stakes, and consequences, however, are still high. “The team is obviously not doing as well this year — injuries and whatnot. Knock on wood, so far the effect [on business] hasn’t been horrible,” says Lakers COO/senior VP of business operations Tim Harris. “You look at the key indicators: OK, how are the ratings? The ratings are a little down.12 They are down relative to the Lakers, but they are still strong relative to an NBA team. Sponsorship interest is up. That’s good. The big indicator is tickets, and so far we are holding our own. Yeah, there are some soft nights every now and again, but by and large the interest is maintained. Now, if the team stays exactly where they are now, and you and I are having this conversation in another year, am I gonna say the same thing? I don’t know.”
November 28, 2015 | 6:27 am EST Update
Former Thunder guard Reggie Jackson didn’t leave Oklahoma City on the best of terms. Kevin Durant wasn’t afraid to say it. “It was tough. I didn’t like some of the stuff he said in the media and how he went about it,” Durant said Friday before the Thunder’s 103-87 win over Jackson’s Detroit Pistons. “… But at the end of the day you’ve got to respect a guy who wants that opportunity and I can appreciate a guy who wants that opportunity.”
When asked if the trade was beneficial for both Jackson and the Thunder, Durant said he never really thought about it that way. “We’ve got a really great team, we’ve got some great guys back. Reggie’s doing well in Detroit,” Durant said. “We had a rough ending last year with Reggie, but I can just think about when he first got here how hard he worked, how great of a teammate he is, and every guy wants an opportunity.”
Jackson, who called Friday night’s tilt against the Thunder “just another game,” was asked if he had any regrets about how his tenure in Oklahoma City ended. “I don’t look back to last year,” Jackson said. When asked if there was regret that the Thunder didn’t get over the top, the one thing Jackson said he does look back on is “four years and I don’t have a ring. “But like I said, I’m focused on the season so I can reflect in the summer,” Jackson said.
“I knew what time it was when I got in,” Jackson said of the crowd reaction. “I’m not really tripping. It doesn’t bother me. “I kind of love to be hated. It’s flattering. I think it’s the greatest kind of love. It’s love and spite at the same time. They wouldn’t boo me if I didn’t do anything to build some memories here, so obviously, if they booed me, that means I did something special.”