The NBA is as well-marketed as any business unit in the world. For proof, just look at the 108,000 fans who filled Cowboy Stadium on Sunday and all the other events in Dallas over All-Star weekend. David Stern and the marketing executives of the individual teams have taken the league, and basketball in general, and made it a global phenomenon.
Here in Chicago, we see the United Center filled to capacity on a nearly nightly basis and that is a credit to the marketing efforts of the Bulls and also to the great fans in Chicago who have supported their team in good times and in bad. Around the league, there are teams that are struggling and for the most part they are teams that have losing records, are in smaller markets or are in markets where there are a myriad of activities to choose from. But fans will always pay to see the stars like LeBron, Kobe and Dwyane Wade...and eventually Derrick Rose, come to play their hometown teams.
This summer's free agent class has been the subject of much discussion and we have talked on the air on whether any of the top tier free agents will leave their current teams. Personally, I feel that if ALL of the top players, ie LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh were to leave their teams and sign elsewhere, it would not be a good thing for the league or sports overall. I would rather see a team do everything it could to keep its top stars, and I'm sure the clubs involved will do so, but it is a fact of sports business in today's world that their will be movement by players and that includes some of the biggest names in the game.