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NBA releases opening week, marquee games: You better like watching the Heat

Aug 3, 2010, 8:09 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for bosh_wade_james.jpgIt’s the hot hot Heat.

And the Lakers. But mostly the Heat. And if you can pair them then all the better.

As for the other, unmentioned half of the league… you don’t seem to matter much.

That’s what becomes obvious as you look at the highlights of the NBA schedule released in a new television special on NBATV Tuesday night. (What is it with the NBA and televised announcements this summer?) The NBA is going to sell its stars, sell its marquee teams. The rest of you can go play in the shadows.

Opening night is a perfect example. First game is the debut of the Miami Heat at the Boston Celtics. So plenty of “old big three vs. new big three” hype there. Then the second game is the expected return of Yao Ming and his Houston Rockets against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on the night they get their rings and put up a new banner.

Or check out Christmas Day, when the two marquee, ABC games are Boston at Orlando then Miami at Los Angeles Lakers. Stick with the stars.

There are three other Christmas Day games, but it’s not like the NBA went away from showcasing big names: Chicago at New York, Denver at Oklahoma City, Portland at Golden State.

And on and on an on. You are a glamour player on a glamour franchise or you don’t get mentioned. Atlanta? Can’t find them. Dallas? Not mentioned. Forget being Memphis or Minnesota. Or Cleveland now.

Here is the rest of the already sponsor-sold Kia Motors NBA tip off week includes an interesting game with Chicago at Oklahoma City on Oct. 27, along with a second game of Portland against last year’s number one pick Blake Griffin and the Los Angels Clippers. Both of those games will be on ESPN.

On Oct. 28 the Orlando Magic will open their new Amway Center arena against No. 1 pick John Wall and the Washington Wizards. Then it is Phoenix at Utah, a battle of revamped teams with top point guards.

On Oct. 29 it is Orlando at Miami, followed by the Lakers at Phoenix. Your televised games the next three nights: Denver at Houston on Oct. 30; Utah at Oklahoma City on Halloween, then Portland at Chicago on Nov. 1.

Stars baby. Sell the Heat. Sell the Lakers. Sell Boston and Orlando and Chicago. The rest of you, you’re on your own.

  1. Zachariah Blott - Aug 3, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    Here’s all the Opening Night, Christmas, and MLK Day games graded and discussed.

  2. steve - Aug 3, 2010 at 11:27 PM

    Most of these teams were in the playoffs and will draw big audiences and create revenue for the NBA. In the face of a lockout does is seem wise to feature small market teams? I don’t know why the author is upset, these are the teams that America wants to watch…

  3. tt-1536352 - Aug 4, 2010 at 12:01 AM

    doesn’t really matter…..gave up on the nba few years ago… often can you put fast car,lots of cash,gun,strip club and an nba player in the same sentence?….its a thugs league now…plus playoffs into june?… well underway by then and football camps just around corner…pretty much just stick to baseball and football now…

  4. Erik - Aug 4, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    Why are you so surprised and negative, Mr. Helin? The NBA has ALWAYS sold and marketed its best and most popular players, just like…ummm…all other sports leagues in the history of money making. Just like any good business. Just like your employer, which doesn’t have any feel-good stories in its top headlines. Sexy sells. Great talent sells. Controversy sells. Grizzlies @ Bobcats does not sell. Is that what you want? Your article has a distinctly negative tone to it just like most coverage the league has received lately. I attribute it to the fact that its sexiest team is led by three players that went against ugly biases and preconceived notions and took matters into their own hands and sacrificed to do it. Wouldn’t you love to claim that DWade, Lebron, and Bosh all took less money to play together and build a strong team around them in YOUR home city? GO HEAT!!!!

  5. Dave - Aug 4, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    I’ve always thought the entire NBA should get a fair shake at air time. Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Suns,….hey, how about the rest of league?? I don’t care about above .500 ball only, let the rest of the league show their stuff too.

  6. Dave - Aug 4, 2010 at 12:14 AM

    I’ve always thought the entire NBA should get a fair shake at air time. Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Suns,….hey, how about the rest of league?? I don’t care about above .500 ball only, let the rest of the league show their stuff too.

  7. ray ray - Aug 4, 2010 at 1:05 AM

    As I’ve said, this is nothing new. The league not only shows the marquee teams and its best players, but the best markets win the championships. There is a reason why so many of us feel a subconscious pull for the underdog; it is because intuition tells us the whole set-up is inherently biased and will remain as such.
    Where would you play if you had the choice? South Beach or Cleaveland? Lebron simply sacrificed money for location, which is like paying more money to be in a better location, eh?!?
    Nevertheless, I will be watching the Heat with great interest. I love this game, lol.

  8. wiltthestilt - Aug 4, 2010 at 1:06 AM

    Wonder what would happen if a small market team won the NBA championship?

  9. ray ray - Aug 4, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    It will happen only if we see the same kind of sacrifice the big three made to play in Miami. I don’t see anyone willing to do that. Perhaps…. OK.

  10. kyle b - Aug 4, 2010 at 1:38 AM

    The Celtics or the Heat will win the Finals this year. The Lakers are outmatched by both teams especially the Celtics. Celtics wouldve won if they didnt lose Perkins in game 6. even the NBA tv guys agree. and now they got both Oneals as back up centers. Uh OH

  11. kyle b - Aug 4, 2010 at 1:45 AM

    The Celtics or the Heat will win the Finals this year. The Lakers are outmatched by both teams especially the Celtics. Celtics wouldve won if they didnt lose Perkins in game 6. even the NBA tv guys agree. and now they got both Oneals as back up centers. Uh OH

  12. Brian - Aug 4, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    Yes, The Decision has been made, but this is a hilarious article mocking the process for anyone wanting a trip down memory lane!
    LeBron James announces that he will buy the Cleveland Cavs, endorse the New York Knicks, marry two of the LA Clippers’ Spirit Dancers in a Utah ceremony in August, become Executive Vice President of Mining and Distribution for Polyus Gold (NJ Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s gold empire) and play basketball part-time for the Miami Heat.
    Read the FUNNY article here:

  13. Anonymous - Aug 4, 2010 at 2:29 AM

    Its a thug league? How about Vick being involved in dogfighting a shooting, Big Ben being in multiple rape cases, a fat phuck who cant pass his physical, Favre Ima retire, o wait ima play, na Ima retire. Steroids brought back baseball after the lockout and we all now criticize it, Come on now give talented athletes credit, wtf youll watch them in college but as soon as the make it pro their thugs and rich mofos so lets not watch them. You people who dont enjoy the NBA and take pride in hating on it are missing out. I’m white and love the NBA are all you other idiots racist?

  14. Mike - Aug 4, 2010 at 2:47 AM

    NBA = No parody league. The main reason why I lost interest in Basketball.

  15. Mike - Aug 4, 2010 at 2:50 AM

    BTW, I hope the Sixers win it all this year. Only thing that would be acceptable would be the cavs winning it.
    I hope miami gets a case of the flu and i hope the lakers get sars.

  16. kunta - Aug 4, 2010 at 3:43 AM

    i agree with 1526352, remember when families would sit down and watch basketball , new york nikerbocckers, hal greer , yes these are different stars these days but just watch the game its even better it allows for athelitc talent to just grow , so leave out personal feeling , you are just telling on your self, more sports

  17. fiveiron - Aug 4, 2010 at 3:47 AM

    The NBA has become the Roller Derby of the 21st century. The same teams every week.

  18. Jimmy Marlins Fan - Aug 4, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    and how is MLB(NYY, NYM, BOS, CHIC, LAD, LAA) any different?
    or the NHL (detroit, bos, chi, phi, nyr)?
    or the NFL for national games (NEP, NYG, NYJ, DAL, INDY)?
    sports are about the stars…they are what people want to watch…what can you do?

  19. Wesley - Aug 4, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    Uh, and football’s NOT a thugs league? Don’t make excuses for not watching NBA basketball. If you don’t like it, whatever the reason, just say so. But you can’t argue that the NBA is a thugs league and that now you stick to football. I don’t see how that in any way makes any sense.

  20. jaided - Aug 4, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    How are they lakers outmatched by an old oneal duo? i dont get it. i thought u were kinda smart yesterday today i just think ur an idiot. outmatched. what a joke. outmatched by mike miller and big z in miami come on now kyle.

  21. from the MIA - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    jaided first of all miami’s center wont be BiG Z ( we have anthony which has no O but plays a heck of a D ) miller is the 6th or 7th man on this team and he clearly could be starting for other 28 teams on the league. our bench is solid, stupid lakers fans are pathetic, cant wait for Xmas!!!

  22. jaided - Aug 4, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Mike miller a starter. thats pathetic who else do u have starting over him. on a championship team like the lakers hes a bench player so is udonis haslem. thats why miller didnt sign with the lakers. he wants playing time which the lakers have none to offer, but miami did so he signed their. lakers are to deep mia. Anthony thats a joke. i rather play sorry ass big z. wait for xmas 4 what.santa doesnt deliver a championship loser.I cant wait till the lakers are 3 peating once again. thats rt once again. 3peat. parade downtown la baby.

  23. Andrew - Aug 4, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Kurt Helin, I generally agree with most of your posts but I don’t get why you seem so upset about the fact marquee teams/players will be playing on opening night and on Christmas Day. The season opener and Christmas Day are all about showing the best teams/players in the league since it’s when most people are watching. You are not going to show the Nets against the Wolves on opening night or on Christmas Day. You are going to show the best teams, the best players. That’s how it works in sports, not just in the NBA. Since you’re one of the best NBA bloggers out there you should know it. Unless you are just trying to get more hits and comments, which is working by the way.

  24. Andrew - Aug 4, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Ummmm, didn’t the San Antonio Spurs, a team from a small market, won 4 titles in 11 years or so? Where were you when they kept winning? On Pluto?

  25. Lakers2011 - Aug 4, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    Who is the Kyle gyu??? The Lakers would of three peated whipping the Celtics twice if Ariza and Bynum were healthy two years ago aND GOING FOR A 4-PEAT WHIC HAS BEEN UNPRECEDENTED SINCE THE 60’S….. and don’t forget Bynum was maybe 30% healthy in this years playoffs!!! Now with another defensive minded player (Matt Barnes), shooter (Blake) and another defensive minded shot blocker 7 footer (Ratliffe) we will be even tougher… And I thought Sweet 16 was sweet. Looks like 17 will be even SWEEEEEEETER!!!!!! And you can take that to the bank… 4th three peat for Phil and second for both Kobe and Fish!!!! Go Shaq!!! And about Miami$?$&@#???? Going for their second Title in Franchise history HA HA!! Luckily for them they have a LAKER as the BOSS in Pat Riley!!! GOOD LUCK when the going gets tough in the playoffs coach!!! Presidents can only set you up to win not actually make baskets and play defense…

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