SBD/Issue 169/Sports Industrialists

Newsmakers: Draft Lottery Good For Blazers, Bad For Celtics

Trail Blazers Beat Odds To
Land No. 1 Overall Draft Pick
THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of some people and entities in sports business. Here are this week’s newsmakers.

WIN: TRAIL BLAZERS — Despite having just a 5.3% chance, the team gets the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft lottery, bringing with it the chance to revitalize a franchise that’s been on a downward spiral since losing to the Lakers in the Western Conference finals in ’00. It also brings the largest revenue-producing day in team history, as the club sells $2.5M worth of tickets in 24 hours, including 2,000 new season tickets, according to league sources. Exec VP/Business Operations MIKE GOLUB says the team has already sold 25% more season tickets than all of last year.

LOSE: CELTICS — Yes, the Grizzlies had the best chance to land the top pick, but most everyone agreed that the franchise with the biggest upside (and need) for a top-two pick was the Celtics. The hope was that landing either GREG ODEN or KEVIN DURANT would restore this marquee team on the national level and give much needed star power to one of the NBA’s most historic franchises. But it was not to be, as the team ended up with its worst possible selection at No. 5, another in a steady string of misfortunes since winning the title in ’86.

DRAW: NBA TV PARTNERS — TNT posts a 15% decline in viewership for the second round of the NBA playoffs, but still wins its third straight week among ad-supported cable networks in the key adult demos. Spurs-Suns Game Five ranks second among all cable programs for the week, leading TNT to three of top seven slots. Meanwhile, ESPN sees a 21.4% decline through the first two rounds and ABC is down 19.4% so far during the postseason.

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