At RealGM, a look at why the length of the NBA season has lessened the urgency around ending the lockout:
Part of the difference in coverage is because football is America’s most popular sport, but it’s also because the NFL season is so short that every game is precious. In contrast, the entire NBA season stretches from November all the way to June.
The accumulation of statistics is one of the main ways that both baseball and football keep its fans tuned in over the entire season. Until the steroid era, the most hallowed mark in professional sports was Roger Maris’ 61-homer season. Even in the age of Moneyball, certain statistical benchmarks are incredibly important to how baseball and football players are perceived: the 20-win pitcher, the 100 RBI batter, the 1,000 yard RB, the 1,000 yard WR.
NBA fans, in contrast, place little weight on statistical achievement, which devalues the regular season. Great basketball players are judged almost solely on their ability to win championships. Regular season success is completely marginalized: for many, Dirk Nowitzki’s 2007 MVP became illegitimate when his Mavericks were defeated in the first round. And after his disappointing showing in the 2011 Finals, there’s literally nothing LeBron can do to repair his reputation until the games “start to count” in May and June.