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EVERYTHING IS OK AFTER ALL: Much was made about the league’s disappointing ratings and the fallout from Daryl Morey’s China tweet, but that hasn’t slowed down the NBA’s progress.
From Daryl Morey causing a rift between the league and China just before 2019-20 kicked off to consistently lower ratings this season to next year’s salary cap coming out a full $1 million lower than it was originally projected to be, much of the talk surrounding the league recently has not been very positive.
Now some good news: Forbes released its annual market valuations for the NBA yesterday, and as it turns out, the league isn’t falling apart! One could even argue the Association is thriving. Per Forbes: “…our research shows the business of basketball is still red hot. NBA franchise values continue to soar, up 14% in the past year to an average of $2.12 billion. Compare that with an 11% annual increase for NFL teams and 8% in Major League Baseball, with average values of $2.86 billion and $1.78 billion, respectively. NBA values are up nearly sixfold over the past decade.”
Not only that, but according to Forbes, the league’s 30 franchises generated a record amount of revenue last season ($8.8 billion, to be exact), which was up 10 percent from the year prior, and projects to be up again this season.
Other interesting notes from the piece include: The New York Knicks remain the most valuable team in basketball at $4.6 billion, with the LA Lakers ($4.4 billion) and Golden State Warriors ($4.3 billion) trailing just behind; and television executives aren’t worried about the lower ratings since streaming of NBA games is up 30 percent this season.
So there you have it, basketball fans: The NBA isn’t going anywhere.
LAST NIGHT IN THE ASSOCIATION: Joel Embiid received a smattering of boos as he was announced for the Sixers’ home game against the Clippers, but those quickly became applause as he scored early and often on his way to 26 points and nine rebounds in a 110-103 victory for Philadelphia.
In Houston, the Rockets improved to 2-2 since going to their super small lineup, pulling out an impressive win over a strong Boston team 116-105. James Harden and Russell Westbrook were out of control, combining for 78 points, 18 rebounds and 12 assists.
BUYOUT MARKET NEWS: The Clippers and Lakers are reportedly eyeing Tyler Johnson as a potential addition. The two-way shooting guard has had an abysmal season but did average 10.9 points and 3.0 rebounds last year while shooting 34.6 percent from three.
NO GOAT IN TOKYO? LeBron James was pretty non-committal when asked if he was planning on joining Team USA this summer for the Olympics. Luckily for the Americans, they should still be plenty loaded even without one of the best players ever on their roster.
BEST IN BOSTON: The Celtics are a very well-rounded team, so it’s hard to pinpoint who their best player is between Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. A convincing case can be made for Tatum, however, who is averaging 22.1 points and 6.9 rebounds this season.
TRADE DEADLINE FOLLOW-UP: Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman discusses the just passed NBA trade deadline, including his thoughts on the team’s big pickup, Justise Winslow, and the supposed “issues” between Memphis and Andre Iguodala. (Spoiler alert: There were no issues, and everyone blew that out of proportion.)
FROM UNDRAFTED TO RISING STAR: Read all about Kendrick Nunn’s improbable journey from growing up in South Side Chicago to going undrafted to now being one of this season’s Rising Stars.
GREAT FIT: Jimmy Butler’s Miami teammates discuss what the mercurial All-Star is like, whether the persona is fake and why they think his stops on other teams didn’t end so well.
SO MUCH WINNING: A fantastic, in-depth oral history on one of the greatest owners in sports history, Dr. Jerry Buss, who oversaw the Lakers for 33 seasons, 16 of which ended with his L.A. team in the Finals. Includes commentary from Jeanie Buss, the Lakers’ current owner, Pat Riley, Magic Johnson and Jerry West, and many other major figures.
OOPS: The Knicks recently hired businessman Steve Stoute to help rebrand the team, and yesterday he made his first public appearance since taking the job (because apparently, he needs to make public appearances… for some reason).
It didn’t go so well, as Stoute came off as brash and arrogant, and basically hinted that the team was planning to replace interim head coach Mike Miller once the season is over, despite the fact that he’s done an admirable job so far this year. That didn’t sit well with the Knicks, who had to release a statement soon after Stoute’s television appearance saying that he does not speak for the team.
Never change, Knicks.
TEAM AND FAMILY: Bucks players Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe prepped teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo for what it’s like to be a father, which goes to show just how strong that team’s culture is right now.
SALARY QUIZ: WHO’S THIS NBA PLAYER? 🤔
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