LeBron James-less NBA Finals proved to be a success
The 2019 NBA Finals felt a little bit different because it did not feature LeBron James. The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player missed the finals for the first time in eight seasons after the Los Angeles Lakers failed to advance to the playoffs.
But even without James, who is arguably the most popular player in the league, the 2019 NBA Finals was a resounding success. According to the Associated Press, via New York Post, 56 percent of the entire Canadian population tuned into Game 6 — during which the Toronto Raptors clinched their first-ever Larry O’Brien Trophy.
The report also pointed out that the combined United States and Canadian audience for the penultimate stage of the season was 11 percent higher than last year’s finals. In 2018, the LeBron-led Cleveland Cavaliers faced off with the Golden State Warriors for the fourth consecutive season, where the latter won via a four-game sweep.
Furthermore, the NBA revealed that the online merchandise sales after the championship series ended set new records. It was up 80 percent more than the online sales after the Cavs came back from a 1-3 deficit to win their first title in franchise history in 2016. The 2019 online sales were also more than 100 percent over than last year’s total.