With the conference finals matchups set in both the West and East, there is the widespread belief that the league is drooling over the potential NBA Finals showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.
The sport’s two most prestigious franchises battling for supremacy seems like a huge difference in dollars compared to the other possible scenarios. However, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says it is not nearly as significant as fans think.
“Minimal. The shared gates would be different because of ticket prices. Otherwise most all are set by contract,” Cuban tweeted in response to a question about the projected revenue advantage for an LA-Boston finals versus a Miami Heat-Denver Nuggets one. “Variance in the number of games and ratings impact our partners. But the ratings so far have been good, so the partners are doing well.”
Minimal. The shared gates would be different because of ticket prices. Otherwise most all are set by contract. Variance in the number of games and ratings impact our partners. But the ratings so far have been good, so the partners are doing well
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 14, 2023
That answer will catch many by surprise and maybe limit the volume of “rigging” tweets that will inevitably permeate social media during this next week-plus. Still, no one can deny that the Lakers-Celtics rivalry still carries more cachet than any alternative matchup, especially when including an icon like LeBron James.
The fact that the financial difference is “minimal,” though, speaks to the amount of intrigue surrounding the 2023 NBA Playoffs. There is more parity and compelling storylines than there has been in quite a while. New stars are being introduced and old ones reestablished.
Furthermore, each of the four remaining teams have a narrative worthy of the NBA Finals. It does not matter, though. Neither the Mavs owner nor anyone else can convince the masses that Commissioner Adam Silver is not fantasizing over a clash between two of the most universally recognizable names in sports.