Christmas NBA Television Ratings

Many have wondered if the fans would come back after a lengthy and sometimes messy lockout.  When the overnight ratings for the Christmas Day games came in earlier today, I think we got our answer…everyone just wants to watch some good basketball.  The games averaged 6.2 million viewers, which is up from 6 million last year.  According to the Associated Press, the Bulls-Lakers game was the third most watched regular season game in ABC history, and the Celtics-Knicks game on TNT that led off the coverage was up 48 percent over the same time slot last year (Bulls vs. Knicks on ESPN).  The NBA has as much if not more talent than any other era in the history of the game.  The story lines are compelling and the coverage of the games are second to none (except for when we have to listen to Jeff Van Gundy of course).  With the packed season we’re going to have games available to us just about every night of the week….perfect timing now that we can’t watch MAC football games on Tuesday night anymore.

Image: http://hot1079philly.com/sports/hot1079philly/is-david-stern-destroying-the-nba/

The Chris Paul Trade Disaster

Chris Paul was traded to the Lakers, and then he wasn’t, and now he might be again.  In an odd chain of events yesterday, Chris Paul, of the New Orleans Hornets, was traded to the LA Lakers in a three team deal.  The deal was constituted as follows:

Lakers get – Chris Paul
Rockets get – Pau Gasol
Hornets get – Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom, Goran Dragic, and a first round pick from the New York Knicks

When the trade was announced, many of the other owners in the league were in an uproar because another big market team was acquiring a big-name player that forced himself out of a small market team. (please see Dan Gilbert’s email for reference – http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7335431/text-dan-gilbert-email-david-stern) David Stern obviously felt the pressure from the owners in the league (remember, the Hornets are owned by the league itself…which means each owner in the league actually owns a fractional portion of the team) to not let this trade go through because the Lakers were getting Paul, and were saving a ton of money in the process. In retrospect, the Hornets made off like bandits, possibly receiving a better trade than the Utah Jazz in their trade with the New Jersey Nets last season involving Deron Williams. Luis Scola – very solid big man in the league, Kevin Martin – averaged 25 per night last season for Houston, Lamar Odom – 6th man of the year last season for the Lakers, Goran Dragic – playoff tested point guard, and a first round pick…and the Lakers got a perennial all-star with bad knees in return. Is Chris Paul one of the absolute best players in the league? Yes. Is it a huge gamble for them to trade away Gasol and Odom leaving Andrew Bynum to fill the lane on his own hoping that Paul and Kobe can figure out a way to share the ball? Absolutely.  Could the addition of Paul add a new dynamic to Kobe and Bynum’s game to push them back into the title picture?  Absolutely, again.  (Think about the Paul and Kobe chemistry thing…this very well could create a similar problem to the Lebron and D. Wade offensive issues of last year. You would have two guys that love to have the ball in their hands and run the offense through them. With them on the floor together, Kobe would have to become more of an off-the-ball player, which could become and absolute disaster.)

The backlash from the media and the rest of the league has been vicious and loud. Many feel like this is as ugly a situation as the Tim Donaghy “game-fixing” scandal of a few years ago. I wouldn’t go that far, but vetoing a trade without really clear grounds to do so and a possible conflict of interest stinks of conspiracy. Supposedly the three teams are back at it trying to come up with another possible scenario to push through a deal, or they may just take legal action against the league to accomplish the same task. In the end, this deal is probably going to go through in one way or the other. The big question is, how long is it going to take.

Image: http://fullcourtpumps.com/2011/12/chris-paul-is-officialy-a-laker-joins-kobe-bryant-in-los-angeles/

(for a longer article and great read on the topic: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7334835/the-sixth-day-nba-christmas)

The NBA Lockout is Over! (well…almost)

We all woke up yesterday morning to the phenomenal news that the NBA Lockout was soon to be over.  The owners and players have agreed to a new 10-year deal in principle.  The deal still needs to be ratified by both sides, and some other secondary issues still need to be decided upon (i.e. drug testing, minimum age to enter draft, etc).  Throughout the day I was following the fan response on Facebook and Twitter and was shocked to see the animosity that so many had for the NBA.  “I don’t care if the Lockout is over.  All the players are overpaid anyway.  It’s going to take a long time for them to get me back watching games.”  (Note: The idea that players are overpaid is absurd.  The market sets their value based off of what you and I are willing to pay to watch their games either on TV or in the stadium.  As long as we keep showing up and paying what we do…the players will continue to make the same amount.  I believe the phrase is, “don’t hate the player, hate the game.”)  Do you remember this kind of angst towards the NFL players when the Lockout was finally ended?  I don’t, and I frankly don’t understand why people are so upset at the NBA for this.  Sure, the Lockout lasted a few weeks longer, and the debate was a bit more contentious, but was it really that much different?  I would have loved it if they would have wrapped it up sooner, but let’s be honest, none of us were going to start watching until Christmas anyway….

I Want to Watch Tom Brady in the Super Bowl…There, I Said It

Goodness gracious the NFL is having a great year.  I feel like I can’t take my eyes off of a game even when the Jags, Chiefs, or Seahawks are involved.  Anthony Dinwoodey Morris brings his unmatched expertise to discuss the NFL playoff picture, pick our favorite teams for the Super Bowl, and to discuss the tragic current state of the National Basketball Association.

Why Can I Not Stop Reading About the NBA Lockout?

I think it might be because it’s a full-on train wreck happening right before our eyes.  The two sides continue to go back and forth on topics that they seem miles apart on.  Now, supposedly the NBPA has given Derek Fisher the go-ahead to accept the 50/50 basketball related income split, but only if they can have some new concessions with the mid-level exception and other “system” issues.  I don’t know if the players aren’t paying attention or what, but rumor has it that as many as 13 owners are willing to cancel the full season today to make sure they get the best deal.  I doubt that almost 50% of the players are willing to take a similar stance to get what they want out of this deal.  Billionaires beat millionaires 100 times out of 100.  I think the owners have put out the best possible deal for the players at this point.  If I’m Derek Fisher, I’m pushing the NBPA to take this thing and run….immediately.

The Graham Anderson Show 11.2.11 Part Deux

The college football landscape is about as good as it has ever been.  LSU v. Alabama (seriously, if you were being recruited by these two schools….would you honestly pick to play for Saban over Les Miles?) with dozens of possible variations for the National Championship soon to be decided by the likes of Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oregon, and maybe Boise State (fat chance).

The NFL has somehow found a way to match the excitement of college football and is making me not miss my beloved NBA (did you hear that David Stern?!?!  I don’t need you!!!).  I give my predictions for each division champion, wild card teams, and I absolutely pay homage to maybe the most unbelievable athlete body in the history of human athletes….Terrell Owens.

The Graham Anderson Show 10.10.11

I think I’m having deja vu.  If you have watched the University of Utah football team play the last two weeks, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

You’ve got to give Tim Tebow the ball at this point.  The 49ers and Lions are for real.  The Packers are without question the best team in the league, but don’t go to sleep on the Saints just yet.

The NBA is in shambles.  Owners have been overpaying players for years…so the players are being overpaid.  Watching Stern and D. Fisher talk about the status of the talks last night made me physically ill.

Tiger Woods will dominate the sport of golf again.  There is nothing I am more sure of.