Whether you love or hate the Miami Heat (sorry, the Heatles), record-setting NBA ratings made clear that fans were not indifferent to the fortunes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and “the Ru Paul of Big Men” this season. Viewership of TNT games was up more than 42 percent over last season, and interest in the second-best regular-season team in the Eastern Conference (after the Bulls) played no small part.
Six games in 2010-2011 drew bigger audiences than last season’s highest-rated game (between LeBron James and the Celtics), and five of those tilts involved the Heat. So, yeah, “The Decision” obviously turned a lot of fans against LeBron James. Ya know, except for all the ones who made James’ jersey the No. 1 seller in the NBA and who spent many evenings admiring his preternatural basketball skills.