Bulls, Heat Reigniting NBA
The Miami Heat (The NBA’s Version Of A Boy Band) and The Traditionally Formulated Chicago Bulls Are A Breath Of Fresh Air
Derrick Rose is as good as any of the great players of years past. All images by Keith Allison and used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
By John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine .com
May 17, 2011 — Despite the hysterics of fans in Los Angeles and Boston over the past three years, there was no denying that the NBA had been suffering. Since Michael Jordan retired for the second time as a member of the Chicago Bulls in 1999, ratings and therefore profits have declined.
While many credit the decline to the retirement of Jordan, others say it was just a coincidence and that fans disappeared because of the 1998 lockout, backlash to the “hip-hop” culture or competition from other networks which before had forfeited the time slots pitted against NBA games and playoffs.
But a funny thing is happening right before the threat of another lockout in 2011: the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls are locked in a series that is collecting viewers. The agent arranged juggernaut Miami Heat and the traditionally assembled Chicago Bulls just might be the next great NBA dynasties.
The proof is in the Nielsen’s. The Eastern Conference finals opening game was the most-viewed NBA game in history on cable television, TNT said Monday. The network's coverage of the Bulls' victory collected 11.1 million total viewers and a 6.2 rating, topping TNT's previous record of 10.8 million viewers for Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game, in 2003.
The telecast of the series opener marked a 56 percent increase in overall viewership — roughly 4 million watchers — from Game 1 of last year's Western Conference final between the Lakers and Suns, and a nearly 43 percent increase in households — 7.17 million versus 5.01 million.
TNT's coverage of the 2011 playoffs so far is up from last year, averaging a 3.1 rating (a 29 percent increase), 4.99 million viewers (33 percent) and 3.63 million households (30 percent).
Everyone scoffed at LeBron when he left the Cleveland Cavaliers to land with the Miami Heat this last off season, but surely, it was obvious that the newly formed triumvirate of Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and James would draw a boatload of viewers if they were able to make it deep in the playoffs. But the continued growth of the Bulls makes this less the LeBron/Wade/Bosh show than it does make for a great series.
In Game 1, NBA fringer Taj Gibson was the surprise, with a couple of epic dunks. But the real stars are not Bosh, James, Wade, Rose, Joachim Noah, or Carlos Boozer. The real attraction is the high level of play. Two very good defensive teams and two very good offensive teams. Talented coaching staffs.
One team is constructed to win and the other is a team learning to win.
They just might be able to not only put the NBA back in the black, but also avert a lockout.
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