LeBron fears NFL los­ing fun as NBA, MLB rat­ings surge

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LeBron James

LeBron James isn’t sure why the NFL is los­ing US tele­vi­sion view­ers while the NBA and Ma­jor League Base­ball en­joy strong rat­ings, but he warns the fun fac­tor is dwin­dling.

The Cleveland Cava­liers su­per­star, speak­ing to re­porters af­ter a work­out Mon­day, said he en­joyed see­ing his fa­vorite NFL team, the Dal­las Cow­boys, win 35-10 at Cleveland on Sun­day be­fore ap­pear­ing at a cam­paign rally for US Pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Hil­lary Clin­ton ahead of yes­ter­day’s elec­tion.

But he noted how sev­eral top NFL play­ers have said the NFL is more and more be­com­ing the “No Fun League” and that could be a fac­tor in drops of about 18 or 19 per­cent on Sun­day and Thurs­day and nearly 25 per­cent on Mon­days.

“I don’t know the rea­son,” James said. “I’ve heard some of the com­ments from some of the play­ers about the game that the fun part of it is kind of be­ing taken away.

“I know when I played (Amer­i­can) foot­ball I played it for that rea­son, for the com­pe­ti­tion and for the fun of it. I’ve seen a cou­ple of the main guys talk about how the game is not as fun.

“You def­i­nitely don’t want to take the fun away from the game. That’s why we all fell in love with sports in gen­eral, to have fun with it.”


Four-time NBA Most Valu­able Player James did ex­plain why he doesn’t catch as many tele­casts as he once did, aside from the NBA’s 82game sched­ule keep­ing him busy.

“My kids kind of take me away from a lot of things that I used to watch,” he said.

The NFL fade comes as base­ball’s World Se­ries en­joyed high rat­ings for the Chicago Cubs’ first ti­tle run since 1908 and Cleveland miss­ing out on its first crown since 1948 in a seven-game thriller that went ex­tra in­nings in the fi­nal game.

“Base­ball, it needed a push and with the play­offs and the World Se­ries this year, it def­i­nitely helped,” James said. “Be­ing at three of the World Se­ries games, I think that his­tory, them not be­ing part of it and then be­ing in it, that def­i­nitely helped. Be­ing two Mid­west­ern sports teams helped as well and then the games in gen­eral.”

The NBA had the high­est rat­ings since Michael Jor­dan’s Chicago Bulls were a 1990s dy­nasty for James and his team­mates mak­ing the great­est rally in NBA Fi­nals his­tory, re­cov­er­ing from 3-1 down to win a best-of-seven se­ries for the crown just as the Cubs did.

“Our sport has done some great things over the last cou­ple of years as far as the play­offs, es­pe­cially in the fi­nals. We’re just try­ing to con­tinue to build our game,” James said.

“To know you were part of a game that was some­thing peo­ple wanted to watch, that’s spe­cial. When they say it was the big­gest rat­ings since Jor­dan in the fi­nals, that gives you a lot of pride.” James wouldn’t de­clare the NFL could be sur­passed by its top sport­ing ri­vals for Amer­ica’s af­fec­tion.

“I don’t want to talk about a shift, things of that na­ture,” James said. “I know what has hap­pened in our sport and I get a sense of what has hap­pened in base­ball.”

James, who goes to­mor­row with his team­mates to the White House to cel­e­brate the Cava­liers’ NBA crown, said he spoke lit­tle to Clin­ton but en­joyed help­ing boost her hopes in the key bat­tle­ground state of Ohio.

“It was great to be a part of it. She’s a great lady,” said James. “I was very ap­pre­cia­tive of be­ing able to do some­thing like that in this state and show my ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what she’s try­ing to ac­com­plish. But she has so much on her plate right now there’s not much di­a­logue you can have in (so short) a time.” —AFP

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