The Golden State Warriors are just one win away from making their sixth Finals appearance in eight years, and that's exactly how the NBA wants it.
In a recent piece by The Athletic's Richard Deitsch, he detailed the NBA's playoff ratings this year and revealed that the Warriors bring in millions of more viewers than any other team.
So for Adam Silver and the NBA front office, the longer that the Warriors stay in these playoffs, the better it is for their bottom line:
The Warriors have been the NBA’s viewership standard-bearer for some time now (excluding injury-plagued years), and I recall this piece I wrote from Sports Illustrated in December 2015, which argued for the NBA to put Golden State in more national windows. Here’s a list, courtesy of Sports Business Journal assistant managing editor/digital Austin Karp, of the most-watched NBA regular season games in 2021-22.
I imagine you see the pattern. To answer your questions specifically, Nick, this handy chart from Sports Media Watch gives you perspective on how Golden State has impacted the viewership of the NBA Finals. It would be hard to assign a specific viewership number on the difference between a Warriors NBA Finals vs. a non-Warriors NBA Finals but the difference is millions of viewers. They could never admit it publicly but the NBA officials wants Steph Curry in the Finals again — and they are likely to get their wish.
This report shouldn't shock anybody. As one of the league's most successful and notorious franchises, the Warriors are instantly recognizable by even the most casual fans.
With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Jordan Poole, Golden State also has a rooster full of exciting scorers and shooters, which is always a treat for fans to behold.
The longer they stay relevant, the more the NBA (and the fans who watch) benefit from their dominance.