The final of the NBA’s first in-season tournament on Saturday night was the league’s most-watched regular season game (besides Christmas Day games) on any network in nearly six years, according to a press release.
The broadcast of the Lakers‘ victory over the Pacers averaged 4.58 million viewers, peaking at 5.68 viewers. No regular season broadcast has achieved those heights since February of 2018. The audience for Saturday’s final also represented a 64% increase over the average viewership for last season’s prime-time Saturday games on ABC.
While it was already a lock that the in-season tournament wouldn’t be a one-off and that we’d see it again next season, those television ratings are more evidence that the event accomplished what the NBA wanted it to.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- In their latest 2024 NBA draft notebook, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo (Insider link) take a closer look at several prospects, considering whether there will be roles in the NBA for traditional big man Zach Edey and defensive specialist Ryan Dunn, examining the rise of Colorado’s Cody Williams to No. 4 on their big board, and evaluating Bronny James‘ USC debut. James already looks like USC’s best defender but is a work in progress offensively, says Givony.
- The U.S. men’s national team will face South Sudan on July 20 and Germany on July 22 at London’s O2 Arena ahead of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, USA Basketball announced today in a press release. South Sudan’s team earned its first-ever Olympic berth earlier this year, while the Germans won the 2023 World Cup, knocking off Team USA in the semifinals.
- In the latest HoopsHype podcast, Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan identified and discussed several possible trade candidates who will become eligible to be dealt as of December 15, including multiple Lakers, Rockets, and Bulls players. Several of the names on their list – such as D’Angelo Russell, Jock Landale, and Caris LeVert – were ones we singled out in our most recent article for Trade Rumors Front Office subscribers.