Why the NBA misses Kobe,
even in 2017!
Why the NBA misses Kobe,
even in 2017!
The NBA has always supplanted the American sports diet in between the Super Bowl until Kickoff Sunday, both de facto national holidays. In the post-MJ era, the League has flourished in player salary, global popularity and most importantly…attendance.
Kobe, the heir to MJ, helped to take the NBA to China, the 2nd largest consumer of League product. Nonetheless, it’s up to stars like LeBron James and Steph Curry to continue to do what Kobe and MJ have done: that’s sell out tickets in every arena they play in.
The top five attendance records have been set in the past decade, including the most fans ever to attend in a season total and average per game total. This included the merger with electronic gaming, two renewals of the players union contract that made for higher salaries and hip-hop becoming the face of the celebrity fan along with the official league music.
Yes the NBA has always been ahead of all sports in terms of culture and players rights.
This can be attributed to professional basketball more frequently dealing with players as young as 18-years-old entering professional basketball (until recently). That coupled with a sport whose paraphernalia represents the sneakers, jerseys, and hats, and a league that gives players more space to move financially off the court, speaking to media and speaking out-think Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf: together have made for a league that is most dependent on its superstars and their success on the court.
Even though team basketball has defined this era of champions, big names still sell seats. San Antonio, is the NBA version of the Patriots minus the cheating, yet they do it without the superstar, nor an MVP in their five title runs.
Kobe helped popularize the notion of greatness through sport while still maintaining the plot of an American icon on his farewell tour. But Kobe didn’t need the NBA…The NBA needed Kobe.
This isn’t about a title run or an elusive record highlighted by the Lakers second worst record and Kobe chipping away at his per game averages like a woodpecker.
This is about retailing the story of the ancients, of our ancestors who’re gonna replace Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Jordan…and now, Kobe?
Unlike any other professional sport, the NBA sales storylines, timelines, and generational representatives.
Bryant-Kobe represents the first millennial players, better known as the Post-Jordan Era, or PJE.
Every generational icon won multiple championships. Lost few, Jordan never lost in the NBA finals even averaged more points per game during the series. Kobe is 5-2, with an inhuman 81 point game embedded in memory so deeply both MJ and the hall of fame asked for the shoes Kobe adorned during the game.
LeBron, undoubtedly one of the best ever to lace ’em up, has failed to live up to the Egyptian god that MJ was. To be more fair, though there are less Larry O’Brien trophies in Cleveland, LeBron never had a Shaq, Odom, etc.
But still 2-4 isn’t what the NBA is promoting…they want the greatest debate at least after Jordan-up for grabs.
The 2015 NBA set the all-time record for most total people to ever attend over an entire season, 21,926,548 in paid attendance. Not every team has a LeBron or a Steph, the NBA has several story lines with its fan base. LeBron vs Steph, keep KD or Westbrook? Each individual team does, and one that resonates with the lower seed playoffs is parity-any team can be had on any night. But especially in a 7-game series.
With NBA fans able to see superstars only once a year, and a more competitive league fan interest is at an all-time high, according to Forbes and the NBA the past 5 recording setting seasons are a trend over the past decade.
As the story of Kobe and the inevitable LeBron vs Steph showdown in June takes place, the NBA will have the entire world’s collective jaw dropped or drooling. As we watch the story of this generation, Kobe was given montages at the arenas and was sent out in legendary fashion. One last sentence in the ending chapter of the know last generation’s book.
Fans witnessed the greatest Laker, per Shaq, and Magic Johnson. On the Mount Rushmore of-of basketball…debatable? And that’s what the NBA wants.