Is the NBA on the verge of passing the NFL?

Photo via YouTube

Yes, it is August 9. Yes, it is in between the Hall-of-Game and the first preseason game.

Guess what, nobody is talking about it.

Besides the Monday after the Jay Cutler news, since the draft has concluded, the NBA has been the headline for all sports media non-stop.

No surprise that in June with the highest rated Finals in 19 years, the NBA dominated headlines.


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But after a short five game series, it just never went away. Next up, it was the free agency period.

With a massive amount of player movement, the NBA sole sports talk on television and radio entirely.

Even the hype-machine fight with Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor could not lead a show during this time period.

ESPN got back in business with YouTube this year, and for the entire month of July through today, they averaged to upload five-times the amount of NBA-centric videos than NFL.

Now, football fans responded with, “It is not even August yet”, “This NBA stuff is a blip”, “Just wait until training camp starts”. Well, okay, slow down.

August 1 arrives, what does Mike & Mike, First Take, Sportscenter, The Herd, Undisputed, ESPN’s YouTube page have in common? They all led with the NBA.

NFL training camo and preseason began, the NBA still dominated headlines.

FS1 and founder of The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre came on my podcast and told me that based on analytics, “The NBA is way more popular digitally” adding, “It isn’t even close.”

And, man, was he right. On the same day, ESPN uploaded two videos at the same time, one interviewing the owner of the NFL’s most popular team, Jerry Jones, and one talking about LaMelo Ball fifteen-year-old brother of an NBA rookie.

The Jerry Jones interview was watched by 4,347, the one about a high school basketball player — 113,916.

Robin Lundberg, of SI.con, claimed that this has been the case the past few years but this year proves, “The NBA HAS passed the NFL”.

The word “HAS” may not be true; however, “WILL” might be more accurate.

Ratings wise the NFL is still higher, and that will not change for awhile based on fewer games equaling more viewers per game.

While that may not change for years, popularity wise, the NFL should be worried sick.

The only news regarding the NFL that has interfered with the NBA’s dominance, is news about CTE and the Colin Kaepernick situation.

Those are not good stories. They both make the league look bad.

If the youth participation in football continues to decline, the younger generation may not be as fascinated by the NFL as past generations have been.

If stars players continue to retire early, fan bases may not be as invested as before.

As for the NBA, there have never been more stars. These players are now A-list celebrities.

What LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant do on social media is now an instant headline.

And for those that think that this is going to change, nope. NBA rookies, Lonzo Ball, is the most talked about rookie in years, according to FiveThirtyEight:

2017 Lonzo Ball Lakers 702
2017 Markelle Fultz Sixers 436
2014 Andrew Wiggins Cavaliers 381
2016 Ben Simmons Sixers 342
2015 Jahlil Okafor Sixers 320
2015 Karl-Anthony Towns Wolves 302
2016 Brandon Ingram Lakers 282
2015 Kristaps Porzingis Knicks 275
2014 Jabari Parker Bucks 243
2014 Joel Embiid Sixers 230
2017 Jayson Tatum Celtics 211
2017 Josh Jackson Suns 207
2013 Otto Porter Wizards 169
2015 D’Angelo Russell Lakers 168
2014 Aaron Gordon Magic 165
2016 Jaylen Brown Celtics 154
2014 Dante Exum Jazz 148
2013 Anthony Bennett Cavaliers 145
2016 Kris Dunn Wolves 135
2013 Alex Len Suns 122
2013 Victor Oladipo Magic 120
2016 Dragan Bender Suns 111
2017 De’Aaron Fox Kings 109
2013 Cody Zeller Hornets 102
2015 Mario Hezonja Magic 56


Not to mention, he plays for the Lakers who are the most polarizing team in the history of sports.

Ball’s impact has already been seen, his Summer Leauge games, broke every ratings record by a wide margin.

Just wait until he plays in real games. Come October, when both sports are in action, the NFL will not be leading headlines, the NBA will STILL be.

Do not think this will change next year, next summer’s NBA free agency period projects to be the busiest ever.

Rumors are swirling that LeBron and many other top stars could be teaming up. And where is it reported they may go? …. Yup, the Lakers, with Lonzo Ball.

What does the NFL have to match this? Maybe, their biggest star, Tom Brady, retiring soon.

NFL, enjoy your declining television ratings, your headlines are gone and are not coming back.

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  • Vince

    Bobby Burack, your tone in this article comes across as insecure, so it hard to take you seriously

    Hall of Fame preseason game with 2nd string players – 8.2 million viewers

    2017 NBA All-Star game with a collection of the superstars – 7.8 million viewers

    2017 NFL Wild Card Game, Raiders vs Texans (by far the worst and least interesting playoff game) – 25.1 million viewers
    2017 NBA Finals Game 5 (Warriors win the championship) – 24.5 million viewers.

    Not to mention, the NFL makes more than twice as much revenue as the NBA ($12 billion vs 5 billion). NFL is still clearly the #1 sport in this country

    • Bobby Burack

      Vince no-last name, are you unable to read? None of that I said? Go check ESPN’s website right now (Aug 15, 6 pm est) NBA is the lead story again. Any other misguided