Steve Koonin, the CEO of the Atlanta Hawks, gave an interesting opinion while at a conference in Boston Friday. He wants the NBA to start their season in the middle of December, mostly to avoid going head to head with NFL regular season games. That would mean The NBA Finals would take place in August, as opposed to June. Boston fans should welcome this move.
Boston prides itself on caring about all of the local sports teams. Certainly not equally, as the Patriots brought themselves to another stratosphere of passion after two decades of dominance. However, few cities in America care so deeply about their baseball, hockey, basketball, and football team. Many cities do not have all four leagues, and the ones who do generally have a sport that lags well behind the others in popularity.
If the NBA moved its season start date to December, Boston might be the city to benefit most from the move. The Bruins and Celtics have been competing for New England fans attention for decades now. It takes place during the fall and winter for the regular season, and into the spring and early summer for playoffs.
Since there is so much overlap, it is difficult to be a die-hard Celtics and Bruins fan. To be a very dedicated supporter of a team you have to pay a good amount of attention to the regular season. You certainly do not have to watch every shift or dribble, but you will miss out on story-lines if you do not watch chunks of the regular season.
If the Celtics started in December it would be much easier for Boston fans to focus on the Bruins and Celtics regular seasons. Also, the playoffs become much easier to manage. No more picking between watching on the games two screens, at a bar, or flipping back and forth. You can watch the Bruins playoff run and then dive right into the Celtics later in the summer. However, the Red Sox would get the short end of the stick in this exchange.
When either the Bruins or Celtics make the postseason, it absolutely impacts Red Sox ratings. Especially if either team makes it to the Eastern Finals or the Championship round, the Red Sox are on the back-burner. But once the end of June hits, the Red Sox have Boston’s attention until either August or October, depending on how the season is going.
If the NBA season is delayed, that means the NHL and NBA playoffs would go from April to August. If the Bruins and Celtics both make decent playoff runs, the Red Sox might be overshadowed until July.
Having said that, it would be great for Boston if all four seasons would contain playoffs. If the NBA season is moved, that would lead to at least one playoff game in 8 out of the 12 months. Since all four Boston teams are constantly playing for championships, this calendar would make each team’s postseason easier to follow.
While this change of the NBA season would not happen until 2024 at the earliest, Boston fans should approve the alteration. Fans of both the Celtics and the Bruins would no longer have to choose between them.
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