Let’s start with the headline: All together, East and West, these were two of the least-watched conference finals series ever, despite featuring the league’s most famous player (LeBron James) on the league’s most famous franchise (the Lakers). It happened despite Nielsen using “Out of Home” viewership for the first time ever at the start of September, which likely goosed NBA numbers between seven and 12 percent. Note: Don’t expect sports leagues to tell you about OOH viewership ratings inflation when they all boast about rising ratings next season.
July 1, 2022 | 7:27 pm EDT Update
Brad Turner: Sources: Lakers have a strong interest in reuniting with free-agent center Thomas Bryant, but with LA just having the veteran minimum to offer he’s in no rush to make a decision. Plus, the Lakers have competition for the services of Bryant, as Toronto is also interested.
Southern University’s Fabulous Dancing Dolls are set to star in the third season of “Why Not Us?,” an ESPN+ series that has NBA All-Star point guard Chris Paul as its executive producer. In eight episodes beginning Aug. 11, “Why Not Us? Southern Dance” will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a member of the Dancing Dolls from tryouts through the year.
July 1, 2022 | 7:04 pm EDT Update
Andy Larsen: FWIW: I’m hearing some pushback regarding the idea that the Jazz are definitely keeping Donovan Mitchell moving forward. Sense is that the Jazz are keeping their options open here: they could retool around Mitchell, or trade him for a massive haul to jumpstart a rebuild. In particular, watch Miami. Obviously, Kevin Durant is their No. 1 target, but if that doesn’t work out, they have been and will continue to be aggressive re: Donovan Mitchell.
Clutch Points: “That shit killed me. He said he ain’t touched the rock?! … He can be so much better than what he is. I don’t know what’s around him. I would love to be able to work with somebody like that.” Kevin Garnett on Lakers’ star Anthony Davis 👀 pic.twitter.com/7wf5VABWG4