NBA Ratings a Slam Dunk, Despite Noah’s Rant

As the NBA conference finals begin to heat up, and with all four teams preparing to enter the final stretch of their respective series’, the most salient event of the playoffs thus far seems to be Chicago Bulls Forward Joakim Noah’s belligerent and “homophobic” remarks directed towards a fan.

In the first quarter of Sunday night’s game three of the Eastern Conference finals featuring the Bulls v. Heat. Chicago forward Joakim Noah, after picking up his second foul of the game and heading towards the bench, was heckled by a fan in the stands, and responded in kind, telling the fan “F**k you, you Fa***t. Noah was fined $50,000 by the NBA, which had just released a series of public service announcements featuring star players promoting tolerance and discouraging use of anti-gay slurs.

Ratings for the Eastern Conference finals have average 11 million viewers over the first three games, while ratings for the Western Conference finals have attracted an audience of an average 7 million so far. Conventional wisdom dictates that in spite of Noah’s inflammatory remarks, tonight’s game four should attract the largest audience thus far.  As we well know at this point, controversy on television is one of the best ways to draw an audience.

More from The Cheat Sheet