National TV outlets appear to have been waiting for an excuse to ignore the small-market San Antonio Spurs, and they made that known this season. After giving them just five games on ESPN and TNT last season, the NBA completely shut them out of playing on those networks this time around, giving them a total of five national games on NBA TV instead. *Note: January 14th’s loss to the Rockets was moved to TNT one day before tipoff, so they technically had one TNT game.
Let’s face it; the Spurs weren’t much fun to watch pre-bubble last season. On top of that, they missed the postseason. Still, the drastic nature of how quickly they’ve been thrown aside is hard to ignore.
Since 2017, there’s been a noticeable dropoff in nationally televised Spurs games from year to year (*Note: this tweet included NBA TV games, which I’m not factoring for this article).
Does the NBA have some kind of agenda against San Antonio? Of course not. But the NBA is a business, and its goal is to maximize profits by hyping up its most marketable superstars, even if their team isn’t exactly a delight to watch.
Are the right teams being showcased in the first half of the season? Let’s have a look.