The NBA Finals on ABC concluded Sunday with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James winning his fourth championship, but James and the league seem to have paid a heavy price for their embrace of leftist politics.
The Lakers won Game 6 against the Miami Heat to capture the NBA title, but it was the lowest-rated Finals series recorded.
The Wrap reported that the 106-93 blowout of the Heat attracted only 5.6 million viewers, according to early Nielsen data.
The elimination game couldn’t compete with “Sunday Night Football” on NBC, which matched the Minnesota Vikings against the Seattle Seahawks and attracted 11.4 million viewers.
The NBA couldn’t even keep up on Sunday with “60 Minutes” on CBS.
The long-running news program, which has lost significant credibility with many viewers in its own right, bested the Lakers-Heat game by drawing 9.5 million viewers.
The NBA season, since its return following a hiatus from the coronavirus pandemic, has been a complete and utter disaster, as the league rushed to embraced the anti-police Black Lives Matter movement and other leftist causes.
James, the NBA and numerous other basketball figures turned fans off to the sport in droves after the season reset inside the league’s Orlando, Florida, bubble.
They embraced leftist politics on the courts, on the sidelines, in their interviews and on their jerseys.
Would you be more likely to watch professional basketball if the NBA returned to being apolitical?
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NBA players nearly unanimously disrespected the country’s flag and anthem.
But fans also had their say, and they spoke loudly by tuning out.
James was seeking his fourth ring since his Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, a series that drew 20.7 million Game 6 viewers and 31.02 million Game 7 viewers, according to ratings archived by Sports Media Watch.
Last year’s Game 6 elimination matchup between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors attracted 18.7 million viewers. James did not play in that Finals series.
When the 35-year-old, who has become the face of the league, finally won his elusive fourth championship ring Sunday, millions of basketball fans had tuned out.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said last week he doesn’t expect to see the leftist on-court activism return next season.
If the league’s players have instincts for financial self-preservation, they will take the 2020 NBA Finals as a message from fans and return the game to an apolitical format.
If James did anything positive for the sport of basketball this year, it’s that he put the NBA season out of its misery on Sunday night.
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