Imagine for a minute you’re in middle school and running for class president; you have spent time campaigning and giving speeches to classmates. Unfortunately, your homeroom teacher tells the class to vote for your opponent. Was this fair of the teacher? Should the teacher have stated his opinion?
This middle school story is analogous to what the NBA did to the Boston Celtics when they published the headline hoping that the Heat would beat the Celtics in Game 7, which is exactly what happened last Saturday night. To the delight of the NBA, the Heat will be advancing to the NBA Championship and face the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Everyone knew that the NBA wanted the Heat to advance, but is it appropriate that the NBA made their opinion public?
It’s understandable that the NBA would be rooting for the Heat to match up with the Thunder. The Miami Heat would attract more attention and revenue for the NBA than the Celtics would. Lots of basketball fans would tune in to see if LeBron James can live up to the Michael Jordan hype and win Championships.
Boston Celtics fans, and fans of the NBA in general, should have a big issue with these kinds of headlines and merchandise on the NBA website. Also NBA.com columnists writing articles saying these kinds of things:
NBA.com – This may come off sounding like an anti-Celtics story. But it’s not. It’s just a simple and direct basketball plea, that’s all. A request to the basketball gods to give us Miami vs. Oklahoma City in the NBA Finals.
Maybe stating their opinion about the Heat was the NBA’s way of bringing more attention to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals? Or did they think the Celtics could use this as bulletin board material? If the NBA is going to be writing headlines like the one about the Heat, selling merchandise that shows that they are hoping or predicting the fate of one of their teams over the other, then maybe we should question the integrity of the National Basketball Association.
Either way, the NBA has a serious public relations problem and the bottom line is, they should support all of the teams equally.