Other than Colin Kaepernick, no athlete has done more to inject politics into sports than Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
But now James is paying a price.
And LeBron James’ big anti-Trump protest just got hit with some more bad news.
No league leaned into the Black Lives Matter movement and the 2020 election more than the NBA.
The NBA didn’t so much as resume its season and conduct a playoff this summer so much as it staged a tribute to the Marxist Black Lives Matter group.
“Black Lives Matter” was painted on the courts at the league’s bubble in Orlando, virtually every player knelt for the national anthem and also wore left-wing social justice messages on the back of their jerseys.
NBA owners even agreed to use their arenas – which are located in major cities – as polling stations on Election Day in hopes of turning out more Democrat voters.
This activism came at a price as it turned off fans.
The Los Angeles Lakers – led by the ringleader of the NBA player’s political movement LeBron James – are playing the Miami Heat in the lowest rated league finals in NBA history.
Game One of the finals was the lowest rated game one in NBA Finals history.
And from that low bar the viewership tumbled even further – an astonishing 68 percent – to make Game Two the lowest rated NBA Finals game in history.
Game 1 averaged only a 4.1 rating and 7.41 million viewers on ABC, “comfortably the lowest rated and least-watched NBA Finals game on record (dates back to 1988),” Sports Media Watch reported.
But if the league thought things might improve for Game 2, it had a bitter pill to swallow because the second in the series did even worse than the first.
Game 2 cratered with just 4.5 million viewers and a dismal 1.9 in the ratings. This embarrassing showing was down 68 percent over Game 2 in 2019.
One of the longest running debates in basketball circles is who was the superior player – Michael Jordan or LeBron James?
Some fans point to Jordan’s unblemished 6-0 record in NBA finals compared to LeBron’s 3-6 record in finals to anoint Jordan as the “GOAT.”
But the ability to grow the game as the face of the league is another metric by which stars like Jordan and James are measured.
Two of the three highest rated NBA Finals games in history involved Michael Jordan.
His last game ever where he hit the game winning shot against the Utah Jazz in the 1998 Finals tops the list and the Bulls clinching their first three-peat with a win over the Phoenix Suns in Game Six of the 1993 Finals comes in third.
Jordan also grew the game from a global perspective with the iconic “I wanna be like Mike” Gatorade commercial, his partnership with Nike, and his participation in the 1992 Olympics as part of the original “Dream Team.”
Conversely, with LeBron James and his anti-Trump brand of anti-Trump politics front and center, the NBA has never been less popular than it is right now.