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Clay Travis on Low NBA Playoff TV Ratings: 'LeBron James Tanked the Brand'

Clay Travis: “Some of you have probably seen the usual NBA media propagandists out talking about how incredible the NBA ratings are. The data is pretty clear what happened here. The highest-rated series for the entire NBA playoffs is going to end up being the Warriors against the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs. Why does that matter? Because the narrative was set by the usual NBA lunatics, the left-wing media that gobbles up anything that the NBA wants to put out—they were like ‘OH, MY GOD, PLAYOFF RATINGS ARE UNBELIEVABLE!’ and I said ‘no, they just got the Warriors and the Lakers in the second round, and it's going to be the highest-rated series of the entire playoffs.' More people were interested in Warriors/Lakers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs than are watching the Eastern or Western Conference Finals. Right now, the Eastern Conference Finals are down a little bit off of last year, and the Western Conference Finals are up a little bit. There's not very much difference in those ratings. Roughly flat and if they end up in sweeps fewer people are going to watch maybe than ever, and we're headed towards an NBA Finals which will not be watched that much. Some of you out there are like ‘WELL, I DON’T KNOW WHY PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO WATCH! I LOVE THE NUGGETS AND I LOVE THE HEAT, AND I LOVE JIMMY BUTLER, AND I LOVE JOKIC AND MURRAY!’ You're the same people who argued that the NCAA Tournament was going to have a high viewership even though you had UCONN going up against Miami [in the Final Four], and FAU against San Diego State, and then the title game was San Diego State against UCONN. Nobody watched because people like big brands that they care about. The more the teams advance viewership, the less strong the overall brand of the sport is. The NBA has set consistent ’20, ’21, ’22, and now ‘23 all-time lows in many different aspects. The All-Star Game lost 80% of its audience between the last time it was played in Salt Lake City [1993], and this past year. The NBA propaganda has been trying to sell you on ‘THIS IS INCREDIBLE, IT’S UNBELIEVABLE HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE WATCHING!’…  You can't trust the media, you gotta look at the data. The NBA got woke and they went broke, that's what the data reflects. A lot of people won't tell you that because they don't want to acknowledge the impact. The NBA is desperately trying to pretend that it's political era never happened. The legacy of LeBron James is he destroyed much of which Bird, Magic, and Jordan built. Jordan, Magic, and Bird understood that they had to sell basketball to the American audience. They worked desperately to make you like them. Today’s NBA players, because of how disconnected their salaries are, think that what they do doesn't matter. That's really the legacy of the load management aspect. ‘Hey, I'm just not gonna play tonight.’ Even his final year when he was over 40 playing for the Wizards, Michael Jordan played in all 82 games. The Jordans, the Barkleys, the Ewings, the Stocktons, the Malones, that era of the NBA in the 90s, they were trying to sell you on their product being awesome and they wanted you to be a fan regardless of what your background was. Then LeBron came along and he recognized that he was never going to be Jordan. I think he got frustrated and so he decided that he was going to be Muhammad Ali instead. The difference is Muhammad Ali actually stood up for things that matter and also Ali was smart. I'm not sure LeBron's very smart on anything other than basketball, and as a result LeBron has tanked the overall NBA brand and the viewership reflects it.” (Full Segment Above)

Watch Clay Travis of ‘Outkick’ explain why he thinks LeBron James is responsible for ‘tanking the NBA’s brand’ in the form of teetering TV ratings, as Clay believes a large portion of basketball fans turned their channels for good because of the intrusive personal politics of NBA players.

Check out the segment above as Travis details why the league is suffering from a ‘go woke, go broke’ dilemma that LeBron is responsible for triggering.

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