This article certainly isn't the whole story or even the majority of the story, but I think it is worth reading and making note. The chart is probably easier to read of you click on the link
With so much talk about how big market NBA teams have a better chance of winning than their small-market counterparts, here's a quick look at some misconceptions about market size in the NBA.
Of the 29 U.S.-based NBA teams, 22 play in one of the nation's top 25 television markets. Considering that there are 210 Nielsen-designated television markets in the United States, an argument can be made that there are zero small market NBA teams. The league's smallest TV market, New Orleans, is 52nd.
That being said, some NBA markets are certainly smaller than others. Take as an example Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, the nation's #16 market. With its 1.581 million TV homes, Miami is nowhere close to New York (#1, 7.515M), Los Angeles (#2, 5.667M) or Chicago (#3, 3.503M). It is, however, barely ahead of Cleveland (#18, 1.526M), Orlando (#19, 1.453M), and Sacramento (#20, 1.409M).
In fact, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and company play in a smaller market than the Timberwolves (#15 Minneapolis has 1.754 million homes) and Pistons (#11 market Detroit has 1.884 million).
Of course, it was James, Wade and Chris Bosh who began the latest 'sky is falling' storyline in the NBA, that of superstar players leaving their beleaguered small market teams for big market bullies.
That certainly wasn't the case for James, who moved from Cleveland to a city with fewer than 100,000 additional TV homes. However, with Amar'e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams all leaving smaller market teams for one of the nation's top three markets, the fear is that the league's talent will concentrate in just a few select big cities.
But a look at the current standings indicates that those fears are premature and unfounded at best. The teams in the five largest NBA markets (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas) have a combined winning percentage of .557. By comparison, the league's five smallest markets (Milwaukee, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Memphis and New Orleans) have a combined winning percentage of .591.
Another misconception is that there is a significant difference between a 'big' market and a 'small' market. As Kenny Smith told SMW earlier Thursday, there are "only three or four really big markets" (sportsmediawatch.net, 3/10/11).
The gap between the number of TV homes in #1 market New York and #5 market Dallas-Ft. Worth is 187% -- virtually equaling the 188% gap between the number of homes in Dallas and #35 market Milwaukee. In other words, the markets are much more concentrated outside of the top five. Certainly, while New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia are massive television markets, once you get past those four, the differences are not nearly as great.
List of NBA Teams and Regular Season Records by Market Size
# of TV Homes
Record (as of Mar. 9)
Salt Lake City