fogn.png
Monday October 26th, 2020 3:06AM

Finals notebook: Around the world, fans are watching

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Miami coach Erik Spoelstra makes no effort to hide his excitement or appreciation when journalists from the Philippines join virtual news conferences to ask him questions during the NBA Finals.

In his mother’s homeland, they are most definitely watching the playoffs.

Out of all the measured international markets, the Philippines has the largest average audience for live games during this season’s playoffs — and Spoelstra isn’t the only reason why. They’re huge LeBron James fans there as well, as evidenced by where the clicks are coming from.

When James turned 35 this past December, the NBA did a video of the top 35 plays of his career. It’s been viewed more than 42 million times — with roughly 25% of those clicks, or about 10 million views, coming from the Philippines.

The top five international markets viewing Los Angeles Lakers games on NBA League Pass this season were, in order, Australia, the Philippines, Brazil, Spain and Mexico. For the Heat, it’s virtually the same order: Australia, the Philippines, Spain, Brazil and Mexico.

Fans in China have seen fewer games this season than usual after state broadcaster CCTV suspended its relationship with the NBA last October. Game 5 of the NBA Finals, however, was being shown on CCTV, the broadcaster announced Friday -- and James’ popularity there has been enormous for the entirety of his 17-year career.

FOUNDATION BOARD

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan are among the inaugural board of directors for the newly formed NBA Foundation.

Also on the board: New Orleans Pelicans owner Gayle Benson, Atlanta Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler, NBA Board of Governors chairman Larry Tanenbaum from the Toronto Raptors, National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris and Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes.

Plans for the foundation were finalized in August. The foundation will work to spur economic growth in the Black community, with initial funding of $300 million over the next decade. Each team will donate $1 million annually, or $30 million collectively, over those 10 years.

RAISING AWARENESS

The National Basketball Players Association released a video Friday, done in partnership with Black Players for Change, to continue addressing the issues of racial inequality and police brutality — both major points of discussion during the NBA’s time in the bubble at Walt Disney World.

It was, the groups said, the latest step “to keep social justice and racial equality at the forefront of the conversation heading into the upcoming election.”

Among the NBA players who took part in the filming of the video during their stays in the bubble: Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, Andre Iguodala, Jayson Tatum and Austin Rivers.

“We stand with our brothers from Black Players for Change as a reminder that we will not forget about the victims of police brutality and racial injustice and we will not stop fighting for change,” NBPA President Chris Paul said.

FEW SWEEPS

There were only three sweeps in this season’s playoffs, all in the first round, all of them in the Eastern Conference.

That’s the first time since 2014 that there were no sweeps in the conference semifinals, conference finals or NBA Finals. Before that, the last time there were no sweeps in the last three rounds was 2008.

JAMES’ NUMBERS

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers entered Game 5 of the NBA Finals just 25 points away from matching Karl Malone for No. 2 on the league’s all-time scoring list — counting both regular-season and postseason games.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leads that list with 44,151 points. Malone had 41,689; James entered Friday with 41,664.

GAME 5 REFS

Marc Davis, Kane Fitzgerald and Eric Lewis got the officiating assignment for Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Davis and Fitzgerald both worked Game 1 of the series; Lewis worked Game 2.

The NBA selects 12 referees for the title series and, typically, each works once between Games 1 through 4. Often, the veteran referees within that group are called upon to work a second game in the finals, depending on how long the series goes.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Michigan governor: `Domestic terrorists' targeted her
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says governors from both major political parties have reached out to her to share stories of extremism in their states
5:27PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Trump has events Saturday at White House, Monday in Florida
President Donald Trump is looking to get his campaign back on track, a week after he was sidelined with the coronavirus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans
5:27PM ( 13 minutes ago )
State takes over Houston's Harvey home repair program
A Houston program that has been criticized for its slow pace in repairing homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey has been taken over by the state
5:21PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Panthers coaches to mask up for 'Sweet Caroline' celebration
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said the team’s coaching staff will be masked up for future victory celebrations in the locker room that include the singing of “Sweet Caroline.”
4:59PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Lundqvist to Caps, goalie carousel spins in NHL free agency
The goaltending carousel is spinning in NHL free agency
4:47PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Whitey Ford, Hall of Fame ace for mighty Yankees, died at 91
The great New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford has died
4:46PM ( 53 minutes ago )
AP Sports
Rondo, a champ in Boston, on brink of getting a Lakers ring
They were rivals once, Rajon Rondo and LeBron James
11:29AM ( 6 hours ago )
Lakers will look to close Heat out in Game 5 of NBA Finals
The trophy ceremony plans are getting finalized
5:34PM ( 1 day ago )
As election draws closer, the NBA continues calls to vote
Udonis Haslem is honest about it: Elections simply have not been overly important to him
2:29AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Basketball
Heat rule Dragic, Adebayo out of Game 3 of NBA Finals
Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic have been ruled out of Game 3 of the NBA Finals, meaning the Miami Heat will be depleted once again Sunday night
5:39PM ( 5 days ago )
Comforts of NBA bubble not lost on Lakers' Danny Green
Game 3 of the NBA Finals would have been in Miami
3:24PM ( 5 days ago )
Halfway home: Lakers top Heat 124-114 for 2-0 Finals lead
Anthony Davis got most of his points with a feathery shooting touch
2:57AM ( 6 days ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Michigan governor: `Domestic terrorists' targeted her
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says governors from both major political parties have reached out to her to share stories of extremism in their states
5:27PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Trump has events Saturday at White House, Monday in Florida
President Donald Trump is looking to get his campaign back on track, a week after he was sidelined with the coronavirus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans
5:27PM ( 13 minutes ago )
State takes over Houston's Harvey home repair program
A Houston program that has been criticized for its slow pace in repairing homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey has been taken over by the state
5:21PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Professor charged in China case sues Harvard over legal fees
A Harvard University professor charged with hiding his ties to a Chinese-run recruitment program has sued the Ivy League school over its refusal to pay his legal defense costs
5:18PM ( 22 minutes ago )
No. 1 Djokovic escapes in 5, will face No. 2 Nadal in final
Novak Djokovic has held on to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and reach the French Open final for the fifth time
5:12PM ( 28 minutes ago )