The Los Angeles Lakers are currently battling through arguably the toughest season in franchise history. Kobe Bryant only played six games this season until a knee injury took him out for the year and the team can’t stay healthy or on the right side of .500.
With everything that has gone wrong over the course of the 2013-14 NBA season, Lakers fans have begun to tune out the team and it has started to show.
According to Rick Kissell of Variety, the Lakers viewership is down considerably in comparison to last season:
Fans have bailed on the Los Angeles Lakers during their miserable 2013-14 season, with local TV ratings down sharply from last year.
Looking at Nielsen’s “Live plus same-day” ratings for the 2013-14 season, the 57 telecasts of Lakers games on Time Warner Cable SportsNet have averaged 199,000 viewers — down a whopping 49% from last year at this time (390,000). The team has been without stars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash for just about all of the season, and has one of the worst records in basketball at 22-44 this season.
With every single prime-time player on the team missing considerable time this season, it isn’t much of a shock to see the numbers drop so drastically. Not only has Kobe, Steve Nash, Nick Young and Pau Gasol struggled to stay healthy, but the team is also without Dwight Howard, who signed with the Houston Rockets in the off-season.
As if losing Dwight and dealing with injuries wasn’t enough to show cause for the drop in viewership or interest in the Lakers, former head coach Phil Jackson has joined the New York Knicks instead of finding a position with the team he led to five NBA titles.
Needless to say, this has been the most forgettable season the storied franchise has ever played and hopefully it will not stay that way.
The Lakers will make an effort to rebuild in the off-season with a sizable amount of cap space at their disposal and a high draft, but there’s no guarantee it’ll be an instant fix.
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