The NBA is prepared for its fan base to drop, as it did after the 1998-99 lockout, but they're on a mission to make sure fans know that "big things are coming."
After the '98-'99 lockout, average attendance dropped 2.2 percent and the NBA saw TV ratings drop for three straight years. In an attempt to avoid this after-effect the NBA is unveiling two new advertising campaigns that will run across all NBA broadcast and social media platforms. And I have to be honest, the first ad wasn't what I expected. Take a look for yourself...
The "Big Things" campaign will run through the first two weeks of the season. While it still has to be finalized, it could be followed by a second expected to replace the "Where Amazing Happens" campaign.
The league will also create fan-related game events to encourage those discouraged by the lockout; a similar tactic as the '98-'99 lockout where the league hosted open practices and team events.
David Stern told the SportsBusiness Journal, "It's hard to know about how the lockout has affected fan interest before Christmas. Let's see what the day looks like. Fans connect by coming to our games and watching them on television and buying our products."
NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver believes opening the courts by Christmas will help regain momentum from last season.
"I don't think we ever went past the point of no return in terms of fan interest and avidity," he said. "Christmas Day was the marker, and we are meeting that. Humbled as we should be, we think our fans will come right back. On the business side, our partners were all very supportive, and to them as well, I think it was important to return on Christmas Day. So I think we will have not lost a beat. I really think we will bounce right back."
Do you think the NBA will bounce back? Where does your loyalty lie?
Host Jason Goff is joined by Bulls commentator Stacey King to discuss his time with the Bulls during the best decade in franchise history, the 90s. Stacey tells a detailed story of his first interactions with the Bulls, Phil Jackson, and Michael Jordan.
(1:22) - Being drafted by the Bulls
(4:10) - Doug Collins started the Bulls championship run
(8:20) - "After I was introduced as a Bull, Doug Collins was fired"
(9:15) - Almost getting into a fight with Phil Jackson
(16:57) - Animosity with Phil Jackson early in his career
(17:46) - 1st NBA game with Michael Jordan
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
After much speculation as to just how loaded the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest would be, we now have a better idea of how the field will actually look. Though the full lineup is not out yet, we know that Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is competing in the contest, hoping to bring back the excitement that surrounded the event when he was the star of it from 2007-09. The next name rumored to be competing was standout Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant but he has indeed declined an offer to the event.
According to sources that spoke to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Morant is focused on "good health for the duration of the season."
Morant is having a stellar rookie season that has led many to believe he will take home the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year honors. He is averaging 18 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game on 49.4% shooting from the field, 40.7% from the 3-point line, and 80.4% from the free throw line. Morant's excellent play currently has the Grizzlies in the eighth and final playoff spot in Western Conference.
Morant did suffer an injury, resulting in back spasms, after a very serious fall into the baseline camera operator on November 25 in a game against the Pacers in Indiana.
There is still no official word as to whether or not Bulls star Zach LaVine will participate in the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, as the belief is he wants to see if he will make the Eastern Conference All-Star team first. High-flying Miami Heat wing Derrick Jones Jr. is expected to receive an invite and accept it with the news of Morant declining, though it has been reported before that Jones—who was a runner-up in the 2017 dunk contest while with the Phoenix Suns—will definitely compete in Chicago.
The 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest takes place in Chicago on February 15, a day before the All-Star game.
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