1. After last season’s bubble ratings tanked for the NBA, dishonest people tried to put the blame for the viewership decrease on the league’s social justice messaging.
These fraudulent folks ignored a bunch of other factors, like the fact that we were in the middle of a pandemic. The season was also paused for months. And then when the league came back, they played in empty buildings, which made for a weakened television product.
Obviously, with the pandemic far from its peak and people returning to normalcy, this year’s playoff ratings are showing big increases from a year ago.
And so Mark Cuban sent a few tweets over the past 24 hours to sell the NBA’s health as a business:
The most interesting piece of information Cuban tweeted about is the NBA's generating its best viewership share since 2002–03.
That stat came from this Yahoo! Sports piece and puts the numbers in perspective since the number of homes with cable television has shrunk at a rapid rate.
“The NBA Is in Solid Shape as a Business” isn’t nearly as sexy of a headline as “NBA Faces Massive Viewership Drop Thanks to Social Justice Messages,” and that first headline certainly won’t generate as many clicks as the second.
Plus, that second headline is just a lie.
As Cuban pointed out, the NBA has nothing to worry about from a business standpoint.
2. While the business of the NBA is just fine, there are issues on the court. The end of Tuesday night's Clippers-Suns game was a thriller but also a disaster.
3. An exasperated play-by-play person is always highly amusing. Diamondbacks broadcaster Steve Berthiaume, who can't be blamed for being exasperated considering Arizona's 21–54 record, lost it Wednesday night during this surreal defensive blunder by the D-backs.
4. While current NFL stars remained quiet on social media about Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib's announcing he is gay, President Biden sent a message of support.
Nassib's announcement also resulted in the awareness he wanted for the Trevor Project.
5. Gin Blossoms performed at Tuesday night's Clippers-Suns game. A snarky Nuggets fan thought he'd get away with dissing the 1990s band, but instead, he got lit up.
6. The latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features an interview with my colleague Jon Wertheim.
Wertheim has a new book out, Glory Days: The Summer of 1984 and the 90 Days That Changed Sports and Culture Forever. During the podcast, we discussed several topics covered in the book including the animosity-filled relationship between Bobby Knight and Charles Barkley, the NBA Finals between the Celtics and Lakers that saw a referee pass out because of the oppressive heat inside Boston Garden, Donald Trump destroying the USFL and much more.
Wertheim also talks about David Stern's and Vince McMahon's recognizing the importance of cable back in 1984 and explains how Cyndi Lauper's involvement in the then WWF led to the birth of WrestleMania. Other events from '84 that we discussed on the podcast include the release of The Karate Kid, Michael Jackson's Victory Tour and more.
Following Wertheim, we debut a new Traina Thoughts segment for the podcast.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: It was 25 years ago today that "Austin 3:16" was born.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.