It doesn’t seem that long ago when the Golden State Warriors were an NBA afterthought. But now? The franchise, led by superstar guard Stephen Curry, is anything but.
The Warriors were No. 1 in the NBA in local TV ratings over the just completed regular season and has some dominant national statistics, too. The data comes courtesy of a report from the Sports Business Journal, which detailed every NBA and NHL team’s local market ratings.
The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss broke the numbers down, proclaiming that Curry is the league’s largest draw and “it might not even be close.”
Nationally, the Warriors played in five of the top-10 most-watched games during the regular season, and if you count the Play-In Tournament games as playoff contests, the Warriors played in the highest-rated game thus far against LeBron James and the Lakers.
And while James certainly contributed to that game’s ratings, the Lakers are in the bottom half of the local-market numbers detailed in the Sports Business Journal’s report. Plus, Strauss says that the Lakers’ local numbers last season — when James was healthy — were 89.9 percent lower than the Warriors’ local ratings this season.
Curry has changed the Warriors’ fortunes in a big way, clearly. He’s had plenty of help along the journey, but this season especially, it was all about Steph. He led the NBA in scoring and is an NBA MVP finalist, though the Warriors’ record was subpar compared to championship runs of years past. He was simply sensational in 2020-21.
This report goes to show that as long as Curry is on the court, NBA fans will watch the Warriors on TV, no matter the circumstance. That’s certainly much different the Golden State’s lackluster appeal before Curry arrived in the Bay Area
(Photo credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)