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.
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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.
- Cavaliers sold Kyrie Irving on contract extension with LeBron James-Kevin Love plan 25
- Kevin Love says Timberwolves owner should focus on his own team following trade to Cavaliers 30
- Iman Shumpert excited to play in triangle offense because he won’t just have to stand in the corner 6
- Timberwolves owner: Kevin Love might regret trade because he’ll be third banana with Cavaliers 48
- Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried lead Team USA in final World Cup tune-up 20
- Thunder trade Hasheem Thabeet to 76ers 37
- From late-arriving to a LeBron James favorite, Kevin Love comes full circle 17
- Clippers trade Jared Dudley and first rounder to Bucks for Carlos Delfino and Miroslav Raduljica 23