NBA’s national television schedule is an insult to the Bulls

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Now that the 2022-23 schedule has officially dropped, the Chicago Bulls can finally start circling dates on the calendar and begin preparing to play in front of sellout audiences once again. But for those who won’t be watching the games in person, this year’s nationally televised games leaves a lot to be desired.

The Bulls shared their official slate of nationally televised games and dates on Twitter. Of the 14 announced games, 10 will be publically broadcast while the other 4 will be found exclusively on NBA TV.

A handful of nationally televised games aren’t enough to veil this insult to the Chicago Bulls in the NBA’s 2022-23 schedule.

ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry put together an interesting graphic on his Instagram that highlights the huge discrepancies we see in the amount of nationally televised games assigned to the NBA’s top teams. At first glance, it seems fair that the Bulls would be placed in the middle of the pack. For many, simply not being in the bottom tier would be good enough.

However, the longer you look at the company Chicago is keeping, it’s much more difficult to understand why the Bulls are being kept out of the limelight. Chicago’s current placement is in league with teams like the Pelicans, Timberwolves, and Hawks. It would be understandable if the Bulls just weren’t good enough to elicit more attention, but they were better last season and play in a much bigger market than either of these three teams — it just doesn’t make sense from multiple angles.

Even worse, teams like the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks have been given substantially more nationally televised games for no other reason than the city they play in. Both of these teams struggled mightily last season and haven’t done much since to inspire hope that anything will change.

On the other hand, much smaller markets like Milwaukee, Memphis, and Denver have also been awarded a much larger piece of the pie here. Through 60 games last season, the Bulls proved they deserve to have their name in the same conversation as these other contenders, yet there’s still such a large gap in national attention Chicago is being allotted.

The only logical conclusion here is that the NBA’s belief is that Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan are not only not good enough to deserve the same level of attention, but also they’re not marketable enough to warrant the extra eyes. When looking at things this way, it’s hard not to be a bit insulted over the league’s apparent decision-making process.

Fortunately, this slight is actually quite easy to overlook for Chicago Bulls fans, as fewer nationally televised games means even more opportunities to watch Stacey King and Adam Amin call the games. With one of the best play-by-play and color commentary duos in the entire NBA, we wouldn’t want to be tuning into anyone else anyways.

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