Is the NBA reaching a decline?


The Ringer

Current players of the NBA don’t make headlines as big as before.

Giana Mejia, Photojournalist

It has become apparent that the NBA is different from before. Previous “big-time” players and franchises have now been labeled as “busts.” Players like Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, and Rajon Rondo, who once were some of the most entertaining players to watch, are less actively talked about in NBA news. Some fans go as far as to claim that all-stars like Steph Curry or Lebron James are no longer the same. 


Since the 2020 pandemic, the NBA has reached a sudden decline. In order to protect players during the pandemic, the NBA created “The Bubble,” which was restricted to NBA players only for their safety. The 2020 NBA finals reached a 48% decline in viewership from the previous year’s finals (Medium).


Teams that were once “stacked” have now separated, losing fans’ engagement in watching these top teams perform. Once at its prime, the Warriors are now a completely different team. Ever since 2019, Kevin Durant has left and Klay Thompon is still recovering from an injury that took him out for almost 2 seasons. The once “Big 3” of the Miami Heat-Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Brosh- have now split. Currently, no NBA franchise has reached fans’ attention as being powerful. The “Linsanity” era of Jeremy Lin is now over and Isaiah Thompson is once again overlooked. The NBA has lost its spark in entertainment, and there have been fewer breakout players and all-star teams.

I think the NBA has changed tremendously in the past decades, but I think that they have been losing interest from their audience and aren’t as competitive as they were in the past.

— Christie Kilaghbian (10)


The Brooklyn Nets- who had fans believing they would win the NBA finals last season with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden- failed to meet such expectations. They are not the only disappointment of the current NBA as the Lakers are almost guaranteed to miss this season’s playoffs. Fans have mocked Russell Westbrook, a recent incoming player, for his lack of performance recently. They also criticize the poor management of the Lakers, joking that Lebron runs the team. To add, Kyrie Irving’s name has reached the news for the wrong reasons. His offensive, anti-Semitic claims have caused him to be dropped from his partnership with Nike. This gives the NBA a bad reputation because Kyrie Irving is such a significant name to the league, and his comments damage the look of the NBA.


Christie Kilaghbian (10) mentions, “I think the NBA has changed tremendously in the past decades, but I think that they have been losing interest from their audience and aren’t as competitive as they were in the past.” She brings up the argument that the NBA lacks competition; fans are unable to engage in games that lack excitement. Both the Eastern and Western Conferences don’t display any dominant teams or interesting matchups. Teams are no longer performing in the ways they used to. There has been less promotion for regular season games amongst fans and teams. They lack interest in broadcasting games due to a lack of performance and intensity on the court. Compared to previous years, trending highlight clips from games would go around, causing people to engage in what is happening in the NBA. Now, there seem to be fewer clips and engagement from fans about games. Fan engagement has dropped significantly low.