Anecdotally, it seems as though the NBA is really thriving. Steph Curry has emerged, LeBron James remains popularity, there haven't been any major scandals or issues over the last few years, and younger Americans have embraced basketball. While baseball has issues turning their stars into household names, and the NFL starts to get a grip on concussion issues (we don't have to discuss it here), the NBA is in prime position.
It seems like there is some data to back up just how engaged the country is with the NBA Finals matchup of the Cavs and Warriors. First, it's the highest rated Game 1 in the history of ABC covering the Finals, beating 2001 with the Shaq-led Lakers at their peak. Cavs fans are plugged in, as well.
Viewers for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on ABC: 19.19 million (2016), 17.76 million (2015), 14.69 million (Miami-SA, 2014)— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 3, 2016
Highest rated Game 1 of NBA Finals since 2001. Here are the top markets pic.twitter.com/yYf69EcfvH— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 3, 2016