A new Harris poll of Americans shows a huge decline in pro basketball’s popularity. When asked to name
their favorite sport, Americans chose pro football (30 percent), followed by baseball (15 percent) and college football (12 percent).
Pro basketball, which ranked third as recently as the late 1990s, is now an also ran. It garnered only four percent of the total, tying it with men’s college basketball and, ho hum, golf.
I’m not surprised by the results. Pro basketball is just plain awful. The season is endless. The games are boring. The players are one-on-one showboats. There’s very little teamwork and even less defense. Aside from that, it’s not bad.
The NBA model is broken and needs more than the next Michael Jordan to fix it. And, they’re paying the price with empty arenas and lower ratings.
I have to admit I never thought I’d see the day when Americans would rank basketball behind ice hockey, soccer and auto racing. Hey, if nothing else, it may provide a co-branding opportunity. Maybe the NBA can strike a partnership deal with Ambien as a sure fire cure for insomnia?