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NBA's explosion, politicizing sport and the handheld power of the fans

February 22,2017 18:08

rantnrave:// The NFL's ratings problem -- down 9 percent this past season -- has drawn endless scrutiny. NASCAR is in trouble. The NBA's regional sports networks have seen theirs fall by 15 percent this season and 20 of 30 teams have flat or lower numbers.

Feb 22, 2017printcommentsports + biz + culture + lifeGet REDEF delivered to your inboxrantnrave:// The NFL's ratings problem -- down 9 percent this past season -- has drawn endless scrutiny. NASCAR is in trouble. The NBA's regional sports networks have seen theirs fall by 15 percent this season and 20 of 30 teams have flat or lower numbers. Ratings have been used as a measure of a league's health for a while. Maybe that still applies. But fewer people are watching TV overall, which raises the question: Is this a sports problem or a TV problem? Networks have already adjusted to lower ratings for entertainment. Instead of looking at ratings for sports, maybe we should wonder where and how fans are getting their fix instead. ... But you can trust "The Process" to improve TV ratings. ... Magic Johnson led the coup in the Lakers front office Tuesday. Rob Pelinka is the sports agent who represented Kobe Bryant and is the new GM. Jeanie Buss' decision to fire her brother Jim and remake the organization is the story. As Sports Illustrated once wrote, Buss has balls. ... Can't keep a job as a mid-major college football coach? Go run for governor. Tommy Tuberville, the former Cincinnati and Auburn coach, is considering it in Alabama. Would 'Bama fans vote for an Auburn coach who beat the Tide seven times? ... The scandal ripping up English soccer is a fifth-division team's backup goalkeeper eating a meat pie on live TV to help his friends win a bet. ... Nike earned 28 patents Tuesday ... Stick to "The Bachelor".Trace the evolution of the NBA's epic offensive outburst, and you'll find that Mike D'Antoni, Tony Battie and David Lee played crucial roles in shaping the modern era of super scorers.Tim Bontemps | The Washington PostPatriots shun the White House. Sports stars turn ESPN into MSNBC. And brands smell the commercial potential in political rage.Reeves Wiedeman | New York MagazineA couple of weeks ago, a few rows up in the near-deserted stands of the Maverik Center -- a minor-league hockey rink where the Screaming Eagles will play their home games -- I watched a dozen or so nonathletic folks in jeans and parkas thumb their iPhones and Android devices. Using the play-calling function on the Screaming Eagles' mobile app, this test group scrolled through diagrammed play selections, not unlike the kind you'd see while playing a Madden NFL video game.Seth Stevenson| SlateConsider the case of a Euless (Texas) Trinity wrestler who's been taking testosterone treatments to become a boy. Because of UIL rules, Mack Beggs, an undefeated junior in his third year on the wrestling team, competed in the girls bracket in the regional finals this weekend, just as he has all year.Kevin Sherrington | SportsDayWhether you run today or not, guilt is just part of being a runner.Sam Robinson | Outside Online"It's not enough to be smart. You have to be curious."Get Redef delivered to your inbox

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