Fans, I don’t want to be the grim reaper, but the talk of contraction is all around. And if in fact its real, I’m afraid the Bucks might be on the hit list.
Here’s the case against the Bucks (and I don’t make it with any joy):
According to Forbes, the Bucks are the least valuable franchise in the NBA. The Bucks geographical placement is such that if they disappeared the Wisconsin pro basketball market could still be served by two existing franchises (the Bulls in Southern Wisconsin, the Timberwolves outstate).
The team’s attendance has been consistently in the lower 10 of the Association for years and years. Even in the strong seasons, attendance was never to the levels Milwaukee can produce (as evidenced by the Brewers and Braves) And have you seen the teams television ratings? I could not believe them. I think more people watch that stupid game show where the only thing that happens is people bid on storage units.
But, most of all, the Wisconsin market is just indifferent about the Bucks. The market LOVES the Packers and is falling in love again with the Brewers, but the Bucks aren’t even on the radar screen outside of Milwaukee. You can find Brewers apparel everywhere, but any Bucks stuff is usually tucked in the corner or non-existent.
But even more troublesome is the indifference Milwaukee is beginning to show. I watched a game recently between the Bucks and Pistons at the Bradley Center, and it looked like an early scene from “The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh”. There was no one there, even in the lower bowl. It was shocking.
And now I just looked at a poll on JSonline that asked whether fans had given up on the Bucks playoff hopes. A whopping 15% are holding out hope. Another 33% have given up hope. But at least those people admit they were once interested.
A whopping 52% said they didn’t give a flying fuck. That’s the significance of the dog that didn’t bark.
I was watching a repeat of an episode of Entourage the other night. One of the plotlines was Ari Gold’s vain attempt to get Jonny Drama his much desired Lakers courtside seats. Could you imagine that plot in a Milwaukee based show? It would be implausible, unless the plot involved someone trying to get rid of Bucks courtside seats.
Im not saying that the Commissioner has his contraction bullseye on the Bucks. But if he targets some other franchise, they will rightly ask “Why are you sparing Milwaukee?” That’s what troubles me.