Not really, but I'm pissed. First, ESPN has a monopoly on sports news. There is no other network that can compete. There's no MSNBC to ESPN's CNN. So when TO goes off and ESPN goes nuts, theres no other network to turn to, just to see highlights. But thats not why I'm pissed at this moment.
This is why.
The NBA, more than any other sport plays to the Big Market Idea. They always play the Lakers or the Knicks or Rockets (cause of Yao). Nevermind that these teams suck. Or that they are horrendous to watch. They're in big markets (or have the most popular basketball player in the world) so ABC and ESPN shows them.
Tonight's 8:00 game on ESPN is the Knicks vs the Nets. Now who outside of NYC would actually watch that? The Nets are decent, though they have no big man and they can't play defense, but they can run and score; so they are kind of entertaining. The Knicks are horrible, everyone knew they'd be horrible. They should never be on national TV, they have the worst record in the NBA (with the highest payroll, though thats neither here nor there).
At 7:30 the Cavs play the Wizards. Two young and exciting teams; this game has two of the top scorers in the NBA with LeBron James and Gilbert Arenas. Both of these teams will be in the playoffs (they may even meet). If you're a basketball fan, this is a much better game than the Knicks vs Nets, it isn't even close.
"But Ben," you say, "you just love the Cavs, of course you'd rather watch them than the Knicks and the Nets." Well alright dear reader, how about this game: the Spurs play the Grizzlies at 8:00 tonight. The Spurs just happen to be the defending NBA champions and the Grizzlies are one of the top young teams in the league. Plus, Memphis has Pao Gasol and his hobo beard. That facial hair monstrosity alone is a better reason to watch SA vs Memphis.
Then there's the late game: Lakers vs Clippers. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee, that is awesome. Two teams from LA, and the good team is the CLIPPERS.
Now to be fair, that is the only late game tonight. However, ESPN has a chance to show teams from 4 different markets (2 games, 4 teams) and they end up showing 4 teams from a total of 2 cities. Well done. Instead of showing good basketball, they decide to show shitty basketball from the biggest markets. I'm not sure that's the best way to win new fans.
The NBA, its Faaaaaaaaaaantasitc.