The NBA national TV schedule has a few surprises, some expected consistency, and an indication of how of they market their teams. This is the second season I’ve compiled this, and I compared the number of televised games to last season’s.
Did you enjoy March Madness? There’s actually another basketball tournament that involves only 16 teams with much better players. On top of that, some of the guys you rooted for when they were in college are in this one too!
If you’re an NCAA, casual NBA fan, or somewhere in between, I present to you a handy-dandy guide of what teams and players to watch for.
(Throughout March Madness, I’ll be attempting to cover other college alumni. I’ll take requests, but won’t necessarily grant them.)
Jim Boeheim is one of college basketball’s finest coaches, and Syracuse has a renowned basketball program. Other than Carmelo Anthony though, SU churns out below average NBA players. I’m guessing this has something to do with Boeheim’s zone defense, which is only used sparingly in the NBA to throw an opponent off.
(Demoralizing moments start from the 1991-1992 season, when I first became a fan.)
If I was some foreigner who came off a rickety boat packed with hundreds of illegal immigrants from the Fujian province of China and landed in New York today, I’d think that there are two NBA teams of equal popularity. With Jay-Z closing out a show with Beyonce at the newly minted Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets are the biggest thing to hit Brooklyn since Lena Dunham started filming Girls there. Now that everyone’s been scooping up those retro black and white jerseys, I’m here to tell you that it hasn’t always been like this. It seems the Nets are trying to pretend their New Jersey residence didn’t even exist.
One impact Jeremy Lin had last season was that he converted many indifferent Asian-American sports fans into hardcore NBA nerds. At least they followed the Knicks. And with 32 nationally televised games this season, they thought it would be more of the same.
One giant Daryl Morey sized poison pill later, Linsanity will be toiling in relative obscurity with a mere six national games playing for the Houston Rockets. Only two games are on ESPN, while the other four are on NBA TV—not exactly a ubiquitous station.
You’ll read a ton of predictions before the 2012-2013 NBA season begins. I will not be attempting that. At least not now. What I will be listing are the teams I am looking forward to watching from least to most. This is based on new acquisitions, rookies and national TV appearances. The list starts with the teams I am least looking forward to watching and counting down to the most—starting with the Eastern Conference. The number in (parenthesis) denotes total national TV appearances.
The last game in NJ on April 23rd 2012 vs. Philly was was surprisingly full and lively.
It wasn’t easy being a Nets fan in Knick country. Despite two Finals appearances by the Nets that coincided with the Eddy Curry/Stephon Marbury/Isaiah Thomas years, the New Jersey Nets never got any respect. I’d actually get jealous going to Knick games—because despite the fact that the team was a joke, the fans were always a hundred times more enthusiastic than Nets fans. The Jason Kidd years had a better showing in the Continental Arena but their best days paled in comparison to the Knicks’ worst at the Garden.