Dec 27, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT
One of them was undoubtedly the amount of money Kobe’s star power generates for the Lakers.
Regardless of how good Kobe is in the coming years or how good the Lakers are after spending what remains of their cap room, Kobe makes money for the team. Case in point, Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:
Sign of the apocalypse: on Jan. 8, Lakers-Rockets will no longer be on ESPN. Instead? Suns-Wolves.—
Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) December 27, 2013
Los Angeles and Houston are obviously bigger markets than Phoenix and Minnesota. And, as their Christmas game with the Heat showed, the Lakers can still compete with teams like the Rockets.
But Kobe will still be injured Jan. 8, and with him sidelined, the appeal is obviously much lower.
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $50,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Friday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,500. Starts at 7pm ET on Friday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
The Cavaliers and Wizards also lost their ESPN matchup Feb. 7, according to J. Michael of CSN Washington.
Cleveland and Washington didn’t do too much wrong to get booted. As both teams hoped, they’re squarely in the playoff race, though in the Eastern Conference, that means both have losing records.
Instead, the Pacers and Trail Blazers, who will get the Feb. 7 ESPN game, just made their matchup irresistible. Each team leads its respective conference, and though few are predicting an Indiana-Portland NBA Finals, the regular-season bout should definitely draw viewers.
- Mavericks signing Al-Farouq Aminu to two-year, minimum salary contract 2
- Report: Ballmer’s $2 billion Clippers offer nearly double what Bank of America valued team at 9
- Report: Jameer Nelson near $2.7 million deal to join Dallas Mavericks 11
- Report: Mavericks void Rashard Lewis’ contract after it’s discovered he needs knee surgery 9
- Report: Sixers, Nuggets or Celtics could become third team in Kevin Love trade to Cavaliers 45
- Five biggest surprises from Summer League 13
- Justin Bieber and Kevin Durant share brunch (photo) 22
- Clippers CEO: If Sterling remains owner then Doc Rivers, players, sponsors all ready to bolt 60