Sports

NBA Ratings Have Tanked Since LeBron James Joined The Lakers

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers has not had a great impact on television ratings for the league.

The three-time NBA champion signed with the Lakers in the offseason, and it’s apparently been downhill for the league since when it comes to TV ratings. (RELATED: LeBron James Signs With The Lakers)

The New York Post reported the following Thursday:

More than halfway through the regular season, NBA ratings have fallen. The real plummet has been on Turner, which started with a LeBron-less opening night and has been playing from behind ever since.

The network is down 22 percent compared to this point last year.

At this point last season, Turner averaged nearly 2 million viewers per game, while this year it is at 1.5 million.

LeBron has missed several games recently with a groin injury. The problems are just cascading on top of each other for the NBA right now, and that’s a really bad sign.

The reality of the situation is that nobody in the eastern time zone wants to stay up super late in order to watch a West Coast game.

Look at the national title game for football. It was played in California, and I damn near had to stay up until midnight to watch the whole thing. That’s not a great sign. Now, a lot of people might do that for the college football title game, but they won’t for the NBA, especially if LeBron isn’t involved. (RELATED: Clemson Beats Alabama For National Title)

I’m not really sure what the fix here is either because James isn’t leaving the Lakers anytime soon. In fact, it’ll probably be the final team he plays for.

So, the NBA needs to find a solution, and it’s not going to be easy. It’s also incredible that one player switching teams has had such an impact on the league’s TV ratings. Kings influence things and apparently nobody has more influence in the NBA than King James.