The NBA and ABC are doing and saying all the right things as the NBA Finals kick off tonight with Game One of Lakers-Magic, but you really have to feel for both of them as far as what could have been.
And what could have been is a dream matchup between Los Angeles star Kobe Bryant and Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James that would have given the Finals major mainstream appeal and capped a wonderful post-season in both ratings and quality for the resurgent NBA.
But a funny thing happened on the way to huge Game One ratings, the Cavs lost to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. Seriously, the NBA already had a ref scandal, they couldn’t just have fixed the series?
Now if you are a hoops fan, this is a pretty intriguing match-up, I have to admit. The real problem, though, is that a lot of mainstream sports fans that would have tuned into Game One for the Kobe vs. LeBron spectacle may not join in until if and when the Magic put up a fight.
So I won’t be the only one cheering against the Lakers starting tonight. Those same ABC and NBA execs that were desperately cheering against the Magic in the last round will now be wildly pulling for them to take the Lakers deep into the Finals.