Listen up, NBA owners and players: Sports fans are getting along quite nicely without you.
That was the finding of a poll one week into the season that would have been if billionaires and millionaires weren’t squabbling over a couple of percentage points of the revenue split.
In a national telephone survey, Poll Position found that 76 percent of people surveyed said they are not missing NBA games, 12 percent are, and 12 percent did not have an opinion.
The one age group with a basketball jones was 18-29, with 29 percent saying they are missing the games; 53 percent said they are not and 18 percent had no opinion.
Those in the 30-44 year old age group miss the NBA the least with 83 percent saying they do not miss NBA basketball compared to 7 percent who do, 11 percent with no opinion.
There was a noticeable divide between African-Americans and whites. Among African-Americans, 26 percent said they are missing the NBA, 57 percent are not and 17 percent offered no opinion. Whites countered with 83 percent saying they do not miss the NBA to only 8 percent who say they do, with 9 percent expressing no opinion.
It will be interesting to see how the numbers change if the lockout drags on to Christmas, New Year’s or beyond. For many fans, the NBA doesn’t become interesting until the playoffs draw near.
Certainly, the early part of an 82-game season would hold less intrigue with the NFL and college football offering plenty of games of greater significance. But the early sentiment of fans should be a wake-up call for owners and players in the process of melting down their sport with greed and arrogance.
Among men, 72 percent did not miss the start of the regular NBA season while 15 percent did. Women differed just slightly with 80 percent saying they do not miss NBA basketball, compared to only 8 percent who do.
Poll Position’s scientific telephone survey of 1,179 registered voters nationwide was conducted Nov. 6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.