Shame On You NBA

Shame On You NBA

I don’t want to sound hometown, but the clear bias and favoritism of some teams in the NBA is making the product almost unwatchable. Whether it’s ABC, ESPN, or TNT, the big market bias and super star bias is not even trying to be hidden by these networks. The fact that Denver is home to the defending champions and undeniably the best basketball player in the world, the respect shown to our beloved Nuggets is next to none. Sure, you can find a talking head who will pick the Nuggets here and there, but the overarching theme is the NBA wants their big markets to represent on the biggest stage. Look no further than ESPN, coincidentally owned by ABC, having offices and studios within a stones throw of arena, where the Los Angeles Lakers play.

This media bias happens league wide on a nightly basis but is most recently on the mind of Nuggets fans. Having beat the Lakers two consecutive years in the playoffs and 12 out of the last 13 times, the commentary rarely shifted to what the Nuggets did to win those games but rather were so LeBron, AD, and Laker-centric that it was sickening. Post game analysis for big market teams carries a different tone than teams in Denver or Cleveland or Sacramento. If you pay attention to the league like I do, you would know that there were actually two teams tied for the longest win streak in the NBA this season, but I bet you only heard about one. Boston and Houston both had 11 game win streaks, and Cleveland and Orlando had the second longest win streak at nine, but you only heard about the Knicks, Clippers and Celtics who also had nine.

And don’t even get me started on the officiating. This might be recency bias, but when Austin Reaves shoots more free throws than our entire Denver Nuggets team, there is a problem. Ask yourself, how can the two-time NBA MVP (should be three, soon to be four) attempt zero free throws in game five? I’m sure you may have seen the bar graph showing free throw differentials from the past two seasons, and it should be no surprise which team has attempted more free throws than the rest. If the ball don’t lie, neither do stats. An 800+ free throw difference is what the Lakers have on the rest of the NBA. Even to the casual fan, this discrepancy is alarming.

As the 2024 Playoff progress, there are several mid-market teams hoping to make league officials squirm as they are taking care of business against the large market teams. The worst case scenario for the media and league is playing out in the Western Conference as the Nuggets, Timberwolves and OKC are on a collision course to represent the West in the Finals. Over in the East, Boston is the clear cut favorite, but teams like Indiana, Orlando and Cleveland, are playing their best basketball of the season.

But in the words of the leagues’ favorite player, “It’s just basketball”.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Mazzulla
Sofia Mazzulla, Staff Writer
Im Sofia Mazzulla and I decided to take Newspaper because I had Mr. Yunt freshman year for Journalism and it was so awesome.

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