Either they can reject the "history" angle and end up with TV ratings like last year's Finals or embrace the history and essentially say: "Remember how good the NBA used to be?"
Here's what I wrote in the SN column today:
Nope: "Back to the Future" is the NBA's only option. And that's kind of pathetic, like the fan approaching 40 who can't get over their high school glory days.Thoughts on this? And please keep in mind that I'm not talking about avid NBA fan interest in the playoffs, which will be there no matter who is playing. I'm talking about reaching the casual fan -- particularly the younger casual fan.
It is a testament to the hollowness of the NBA's so-called revival this season that its best playoff outcome leans on fan nostalgia for the mid-1980s.
(And not even every fan -- if you're under 30, you have little or no recollection of why Lakers-Celtics is the NBA's best rivalry. And if you're over 30, no one under 30 wants to hear your pull-the-ladder-up-behind-you stories about how great the NBA used to be.)
"Where 1987 Happens" is not what I think the NBA had in mind as its 2008 playoff marketing slogan.