The Finals the NBA doesn’t want

It’s no secret that the NBA’s priority is entertainment. From the controversial play-in tournaments to rules that reduce the game’s length, they’re always trying to find ways to increase viewership.

This year, the NBA’s viewership continues its downwards trend (last year’s plummet isn’t considered as the season was too different). To push things back to normal in hope of offsetting last year’s losses, the league has been by trying to get more players vaccinated, which will allow more fans into the building and consequently getting higher engagement and views.

It seems like things are getting better, with this year’s playoffs being the most competitive and unpredictable it’s ever been: first time in 10 years the Finals are without LeBron or Curry, both teams haven’t been in Finals for more than 20 years and no players have ever won a championship.

Exciting right?

Maybe, if you ask the city of Phoenix and Milwaukee. For the general public, they’re shaking their heads at the mention of the teams’ name. None of the teams is a big market and has the same impact as the Lakers or Celtics.

It also doesn’t help that this year’s finals didn’t feature superstars such as Curry, Durant or even Luka Doncic who usually attract casual fans. With younger rising stars such as Booker and Ayton, along with homegrown heroes Giannis and Middleton, the league loses its appeal.

If the NBA’s priority is the sport, they’ll be better off being more competitive. Yet the league’s growth depends more on its ability to reach a broader audience, so they’ll be rooting for superteam era to stick around.