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Fans in the golden age

Does Warriors’ success increase or decrease NBA fandom?

Jared Greenspan

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A team that has won three championships in four years would not usually be characterized as one that could get any better. Yet, this is the case with the Golden State Warriors, who, after inking all-star center DeMarcus Cousins to a contract in the offseason to resolve their lone vulnerability, have somehow done just that.

As a new NBA season dawns upon us, basketball fans should be caught up in a swirl of optimism and excitement. However, with the Warriors as heavy favorites to capture yet another NBA championship, it is not unreasonable to presume that one’s own enthusiasm might be dwindling. This leaves one to beg the question: Does the Warriors’ supremacy serve to proliferate or diminish one’s interest in the NBA?

For senior Jaden Damesek, Golden State’s success has made the NBA predictable and, in turn, boring. “Having a team that is basically guaranteed to win most of the time isn’t exciting,” Damesek said, explaining that the absence of the element of surprise makes the sport less entertaining.

Throughout the past four seasons, the Warriors have posted a regular season record of 265-63 and a postseason record of 63-19, largely minimizing their competition. In that same time frame, the San Antonio Spurs have the second best regular season mark at 230-98 and the Cleveland Cavaliers have the second best postseason record at 55-26. Both records pale in comparison to the Warriors.

“Their success makes me feel like no other teams stand a chance,” junior Jason Paden said. “From a fan’s perspective, when a team continuously dominates the NBA, everything gets really repetitive.”

Still, some NBA fans argue that Golden State’s success has augmented their own interest, simply out of admiration for the team’s talent. Senior Michael Kane said: “Even though the Warriors win most of their games, the ball movement and flow of their play style is very impressive, and something I really enjoy seeing as a fan.”

Evidently, Kane is not alone in his peaked interest, with many NBA fans proving to be more intrigued by the Warriors’ success than uninterested by it. In the 2017-18 NBA season, national television ratings soared to a four-year high with an average viewership of 1.28 million, according to Nielsen Data. Meanwhile, regular season attendance flourished, with Forbes reporting an increase for a fourth straight year

“Everyone wants to watch the best players play basketball, and in this case, that’s what the Warriors provide,” offered Kane. “The casual fan will enjoy watching a team dominate and produce highlight plays on a daily basis, simply because this great of a team doesn’t come around that often.”

In the end, Paden praises the Warriors’ revolutionary levels of success, although he hopes it does not last forever. He reasoned: “The highlights and gameplay are incredible, but I just wish that the league would be more balanced to change things up.”

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