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Disney dollars

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff June 2, 2008 09:32 AM

I suppose you could promise yourself a league-wide boycott, which should come in handy should they decide to promote that "Sex and the City" flick at some point during the NBA Finals.

More realistically, if you do indeed decide to keep a running tab and forever boycott each and every product placement viewed during the Celtics-Lakers NBA Finals series, well then you, my friend, are a more stubborn man than I.

The "NBA Cares" all right. About Pepsi. And Reebok. And lying boyfriends venting with cans of Coors.

East Coast Bias, nothing. What we have here is yet more oversight by a professional sports league, denying an entire fan base a reasonable night's sleep in order to pander to its advertisers. Heard this one before?

It's bad enough that Fox's baseball's postseason doesn't normally get kicking until 8:30 -- after 20 minutes of useless Kevin Kennedy analysis, mixed in with another 10 minutes of Jeanne Zelasko and Eric Byrnes playing eyeball footsie -- but these NBA Finals start times are ridiculous for any basketball fan east of the Sears Tower. At least those with school or jobs to worry about.

We all understand that a 6 p.m. start time might still even be, yes, too early for the millions of hardcore sports fans that make up the greater Los Angeles area. But on the right coast, it's a bit prohibitive for all parties involved. The recent 8:30 starts were bad enough. Now, Celtics fans are faced with 9 p.m. staring at them for at least four of the next 14 nights.

Nine p.m. Well, at least you can stay up for Saturday night's game.

Oh, right, there isn't one. We wouldn't want to wreck individual Nielsen numbers with all those fans watching in the bars. Don't plan on catching a Friday night game either. Messrs. Stern, Disney, and Anheuser took care of that for you too.

Instead, the series takes a two-night break to deliver fans a fantastic way to kick off the work week, another 9 p.m. game on Sunday night. Hooray.

The last time we whined (I prefer to call it fervently question) about late-night start times for playoff games, we received our share of West Coast correspondence that derided us for our short-sightedness. After all, by the time Los Angeleans get out of work and navigate the 405, why they might have missed the first inning or the initial five minutes of play. Truly, these were the excuses.

In retort, I hate to use the kids as an excuse, even if they remain a viable piņata. After all, how many New England kids are going to have the opportunity to stay up past midnight to watch these games? Heck, how many will actually get to go? How about the sixth-grader from Worcester who gets home past 1 in the morning only to arise for school five hours later. As long as he picks up a Diet Pepsi Max on the way to the bus stop, what does it matter?

In an age of DVR, it astounds me that fans on the West Coast can't simply record whatever slim margin of the game they miss, only to catch up in real time before said contest is even at the halfway mark. Ah, but that would require all fans signing a doctrine of promise not to fast forward past the Verizon guy with his merry band of technological know-alls. That's a no-go as far as David Stern is concerned. The guy has his shot at the most-watched NBA Finals in perhaps a decade. No way he's risking those ad dollars.

I suppose they'll argue the DVR route on that side for us as well, even if sports and "Lost" can't realistically be expected to outlast a 12-hour record period of viability. Imagine walking into work Friday and imploring all your co-workers not to discuss the game because you've got it on the box at home. Go ahead, try it and report back.

You, my friend, are stuck with either staying up past the midnight hour or not watching the game at all. Of course, Option One is your only available avenue.

Perhaps you can bill the NBA for that extra shot of espresso it's going to take the next morning. Maybe you can include on your college transcript why you managed only a B- on the final for a class you aced all year long. In LA, they'll simply pack it in at the same time you started watching the game, with time to spare for whatever chores need to be done to prepare for the following day. As much bemoaning as they tend to do, this is why it's great to be a sports fan on the West Coast, as the games remain an enjoyable diversion, not a hindrance to our daily life.

Once every 20 years or so these days do we get a dream matchup like this though, so the NBA could put the games on at 11 and we'd still watch. Even more ornery, but sure, we'd still watch.

It's great that half the country won't have to alter any of their evening plans in order to watch, something that doesn't compute in New England, where the bleary-eyed, slow-moving individuals the morning after only go to further to coin this city of champions as one of little sleep as well.

Worth it? Please. It's just that the transparent pandering to multimillion dollar corporations would be nice not to see every now and then. Then again, it would be pretty cool to live as a philanthropist on Fiji with a dozen or so Eliza Dushku look-alikes as housemates to help cover the cost of satellite TV and beer.

Unlikely? Dude, the Celtics are in the NBA Finals. Had I told you that on June 2, 2007, you'd react much the same dubious way.

So basically, June, 2009 is looking pretty sweet.

74 comments so far...
  1. For what it's worth, I don't plan on watching these games, now that I know they'll be on so late. I won't even DVR them, because, as you basically note, there isn't a lot of value in watching a game you know the result of. I'll just read the paper's the next day.

    Posted by Jeff June 2, 08 11:48 AM
  1. Hey Eric,
    It's about time that this was addressed. We got screwed for most of the Patriot's season with late night starts and now this. This is a major concern for east coast fans and I'm surprized that more folks in the fan base and the media don't complain. Keep it up.

    Posted by Tim Jameson June 2, 08 12:26 PM
  1. I have a better question. What is the MBTA planning on doing for fans going to these games? I would hope that they will run as late as need be in order to get everyone home safely, but it's a question that sadly needs to be asked in a city that refuses to allow drunken spectators to get home safely because they refuse to let the public transportation run past 12:30 am.

    Posted by Shaun June 2, 08 12:33 PM
  1. One quick note...the 9 p.m. start time for basketball isn't anywhere near as bad as an 8 or 8:30 p.m. baseball start time. Your average NBA playoff game lasts 2 to 2 and a half hours. Your average playoff baseball game goes about 3 and a half hours or 4+ if its Red Sox-Yankees. I think you overstate the difference big time Eric.

    Posted by Tom A June 2, 08 12:35 PM
  1. I'm watching with my three sons. My oldest will be back from the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy on Wednesday and my other two are a senior and sophmore respectively in high school. Thus 21 years ago my oldest was 3 years old. He'll learn with the other two about the history of the Celtics and the chant Beat LA! beat LA! We're all C's fans and this year we can't stop watching, talking, and arguing about the Celtics. Bring it on Kobe and the Lakers...Go Green!

    Posted by gimli June 2, 08 12:39 PM
  1. Same reaction here, I couldn't believe the schedule. I won't be watching any of the games. I get up at four A.M. for work (M-F) and yard work on Saturday and Sunday. I quit watching regular season games and now I guess I'll give up the playoffs. Just another way to get rid of the fan base. The NBA hasn't a clue on putting out a good product for years now anyway. It's Summer anyway got other things to do, can you smell what I'm cooking.

    Posted by Gary Milburn June 2, 08 12:49 PM
  1. Whoever says an NBA playoff game only lasts 2-2.5 hours just hasn't watched much playoff basketball this year. Sorry. Those Detroit games were easily eclipsing 3 hours. Game 6 took 3 hours and 20 minutes.

    It's a double whammy. 9pm start times and twice as many commercials as regular season games.

    Greedy greedy greedy, and quite pathetic, Mr. Stern.

    Posted by Patrick June 2, 08 12:52 PM
  1. If a game is going to last much past 10:30, I won't watch. I even have given up on Yankee/Sox games, which almost never end before 11:00. The alarm goes off at 5:30 AM. Too bad.

    Posted by Dan Breyfogle June 2, 08 12:52 PM
  1. As a Boston fan living in L.A., for once I'm going to get to see my team play without having to take the afternoon off! I was looking at getting the MLB Extra Innings package, but the games are over by teh time I get home! And don't even get me started on NFL games that come on at 10am. That's sleepy time, not drinky time! The only advantage to being on the west coast is prime time nationally televised games, such as Monday Night Football. Other than that, this sucks!

    Posted by Dave S June 2, 08 01:02 PM
  1. Celtics vs Pistons - No game was less than 2.5 hours. The Average was about 2 hours 45 minutes with one going over 3 hours. Eric isn't overstating.

    Posted by Shawn June 2, 08 01:04 PM
  1. It is just infuriating that kids on the east coast (I have two sons 12 & 14) have so little chance to watch post-season play - whether it is the Red Sox or Celtics or so many of the Patriot's regular season games last year as has been noted.

    The Super Bowl kicks off on Sunday at around 6:30 pm, how are the ratings for that? Couldn't they at least make the Sunday games earlier for kids? Then they wonder why kids aren't playing, aren't watching, etc. For all of us who work or go to school in the morning, it is a pain. Some observers wonder why fans seem to be so much more passionate on the East Coast, the answer is because you have to be to follow the team & stay up & see the games.

    Posted by Douglas June 2, 08 01:04 PM
  1. You are correct - All this is about is money - put the games on when the new fans --those that are watching the game - the true fan understands the NBA is no longer about the game -- the forced time outs, referees with agendas, and ( as celtics fans) not allowing Thomas William Heinsohn to be the authority at this level well "that is a TERRIBLE CALL" if it were about the game we might be able to see a game in person - introduce our kids and grand kids to an athletic ballet with gifted people performing -- stop trying to sqeeze every single penny out of the fans - let them play and BEAT LA beat LA BEAT LA

    Posted by jeff B June 2, 08 01:12 PM
  1. I've been bemoaning this fact for days! I mean seriously....at the very least, when the games are played on the east coast, the majority of east coasters should get to watch them. Save your late times for when they play in LA. And not putting the games on Friday or Saturday night is definitely no good. Even starting the games at 7pm est gives me a better chance of going to bed before the next day begins. There definitely needs to be an overhaul of the system.

    Posted by Nicole June 2, 08 01:13 PM
  1. I am of the opinion that this is becoming an epidemic. It is affects the sleep patters of millions of people.

    Posted by Andrew June 2, 08 01:24 PM
  1. As a former Bostonian now living in La-La Land, I feel your pain. I remember well going to work in a haze the day after a late night playoff or MNF game. But the fact is, this is a big country with several time zones and there's no one solution that's going to make everyone happy, so big media and the advertisers get to call the shots. That's nothing new and shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Sure, the East Coast fans get hosed, but the East Coast fans are also the better, more hard-core fans who are willing to "play hurt" to support their teams. Not so for fair-weather L.A. fans.

    BEAT L.A.!!!

    Posted by Jon June 2, 08 01:39 PM
  1. Transplanted Bostonian in the Midwest here....with a question. School here ended two weeks ago, unless you are in summer school. Is the school schedule that different in New England? I seem to remember going to school until the beginning of June, but it would certainly have been over by the end of this week. Of course, they go BACK to school here in mid to late August, and I think I remember we didn't go back until September (after Labor Day?) when I was a kid there.

    Posted by Markes June 2, 08 01:40 PM
  1. I'm a Celtics fan living in Los Angeles. For those of us with jobs that might last past 5pm, 6pm PST start times are bad enough. By the time I get home I'm lucky if I can start watching mid-3rd quarter. Boo-hoo if you might only get 6 or 7 hours of sleep following game nights. A 9pm start time is a very reasonable compromise.

    Posted by Kevin June 2, 08 01:41 PM
  1. BOO HOO.. We are such provincal narcassistic complainers!!!!! As if the world revolves around us!! I hate to tell you, but you'd be complaining more if the games started at 5pm while you're stuck in traffic. That would be the time the games start in LA if they were played at 8pm. On a personal level, I lived in LA for 5 years and it absolutely stunk!! Accept the fact that there are other people who have an interest in the series besides you!!!! Its moaners like all of you that give us such a bad name. Count your blessings that you have a game to complain about!!

    Posted by Matt June 2, 08 01:46 PM
  1. Don't forget we are talking about LA here. The home of the arrive late-leave early bandwagon fan base. This is a place where what you where to the games and what stars are there is more importan than the game itself. Most LA "fans" coudn't even tell you where Lamar Odom or Jordan Famar went to college-which by the way are URI and UCLA.

    Posted by Z June 2, 08 01:47 PM
  1. 6 ET/ 9 PT is the best compromise for both coasts. Maybe 8:30 ET/5:30 PT is better, but not a big difference. As a Celtics fan in CA, I appreciate not having to leave work at 3 to watch a game at 7 ET. This is why Dunkin Donuts coffee exists, Boston.

    Posted by Mike C June 2, 08 01:48 PM
  1. I also will not watch the games for a couple of reasons. The start time is just way to late and by the time the game starts it will probably be 9:20. The other reason is the NBA just really has a very poor product. I never thought I would say baseball is a better tv game but I think it is now. I used to follow BB all the way back into the 60's and today's game is filled with nothing but punks and fouls. Is it a foul to pass in the NBA these days?

    For those of you out there that enjoy today's NBA good for you but you have no idea what basketball looks like when played right.

    Posted by Steve June 2, 08 01:48 PM
  1. Judging by how late the Staples Center fills up, Lakers fans are pretty used to missing the first quarter anyway. Put the games on earlier!

    Posted by J-Bone June 2, 08 01:49 PM
  1. Is their any way for us to voice our displeasure? I looked on NBA.com but didn't see anything except for chat rooms?

    Posted by Jeff Lawless June 2, 08 01:51 PM
  1. DO YOU PEOPLE HEAR URSELVES.. "im not gonna watch it cuz its tooo late.. boohoooo i needa wake up at 5 am to go to work... SUCK IT UP.. watch your team and when they win ull be happy the next mornin when you wake up! I cant believe wat i was reading in some of your quotes!

    Posted by Chris June 2, 08 01:55 PM
  1. The David Stern era can not end soon enough. Corruption and greed are his guiding principles. The NBA has zero integrity, and as always, a fish rots from its head. It is a shame that Stern for some insane reason wants Kobe to win, which means we can expect more plays like the Brent Barry non-call going LA's way. God forbid he should just let the players play. Actually, I was semi-amazed that the Knicks did not win the draft lottery (although they will win next year when Stern engineers the Lebron to NY deal)... but upon reflection, fixing it for Chicago made a lot more sense. The fact that these are not irrational thoughts underscores the lack of integrity in the NBA.

    Posted by Ken June 2, 08 02:00 PM
  1. As a Celtics fan who has recently relocated to the West Coast, I'd like to make this point - if you give equal weight to the Lakers' fan base out here, and the Celtics' in Massachusetts, 9pm is a reasonable compromise. At least the games aren't starting at 10pm ET.

    Posted by John June 2, 08 02:04 PM
  1. What time did the Celts-Lakers games start in the 80's?

    Posted by Greg June 2, 08 02:10 PM
  1. The travesty is the no Friday/Saturday games. And why don't the Sunday games start at 3:00? I can remember many a Sunday afternoon as a kid watching Celtics Playoff games. No more, because it is now ALL about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    Posted by tcoogan7 June 2, 08 02:15 PM
  1. Wouldnt a compromise be to have the games that are played in Boston start around 8 on the East Coast (5 on the west coast) and the games played in LA to start at say 7 local (10 back here in Boston). How about a Sunday late afternoon game (6 in Boston, 3 in LA)? I was only about 9 in 1987, but I seem to remember game 7 being on Sunday afternoon, that was the traditional time for basketball to be played. I think the NBA needs to use a bit more common sense, The NFL is successful on Sunday afternoon......... Whatever, lets just play the games, this week long wait is worse then the 2 weeks between the conference championship and the super bowl.

    Posted by Jason June 2, 08 02:18 PM
  1. I can deal w/ the 9pm start on week nights, But a 9pm start on Sunday night is absurd. That game should be late afternoon for every basketball fan in America to watch and enjoy.

    Posted by Peter June 2, 08 02:24 PM
  1. The way to deal with this basketball at 11 pm in the third quarter issue is the way I have dealt with the NBA for years now. If there is a game in which you have some interest - record the second half and then watch the last five minutes of it if the game turned out to be close.

    Playing the last five minutes of especially a playoff game that is less than a 10 point spread usually takes a good 30 minutes of real time, which is still too long to give to the NBA - but better than three hours for a 48 minutes game.

    By doing this, you can skip most all of the inane prattle of the announcers, miss 90 percent of the commercials and still get at least four recaps of the previous action from the same announcers who have nothing new to say, so they just keep repeating themselves.

    "Oh, that bad no call at 4:55 of the second quarter is really looking big about now, Jeff."

    Better still, read the result online at Boston.com the next morning and then watch the last couple of minutes if the action warrants such review.

    Posted by Saltzone June 2, 08 02:29 PM
  1. Just another reason to live in the west... besides, the Pats could play at 3 a.m. and I'd be up for it.

    Posted by Neal June 2, 08 02:38 PM
  1. Agreed that the late start times are a minor annoyance, but the networks pay the NBA to televise their games. They will, of course, maximize their advertising appeal by coming up with a compromise in start times.

    It's a far cry better than starting at 10 pm for West Coast games. Better yet that it's basketball. The Finals TV time outs will be longer, but over all the games should be shorter than football, or baseball games. The games should be over by midnite, so you'll have plenty of time to get your beauty sleep, or to rest your tired old arse.

    Posted by Shawn June 2, 08 02:43 PM
  1. You will never be able to please all of the people all of the time, and most of the people none of the time. so whatever......after all, it's just a sports game. Stay up late to watch if you want, and make up for it the next day by going to bed earlier and getting more sleep. People, there are more important things going on in this world to worry about than what time a basketball game begins between athletes that makes more money per game than a lot of people will see in their lifetime.

    Posted by Sherry June 2, 08 02:44 PM
  1. Last time these teams played in a Finals the weekend games were on in the afternoon and the weekday games started around 8ish. If I recall lots of people watched them back then and ratings were at an all-time high during the Magic/Bird era. Here is what kills me from a purely business perspective. All major pro leagues talk about the casual fans being who they need to cater to, but the problem is there are more east coast casual fans to cater to than west coast. The top ten TV markets are New York (ET), LA (-3hrs), Chicago (-1 hr), Philly (ET), Dallas (-1 hr), San Fran/Oak (-3 hrs), Boston (ET), Atlanta (ET), D.C. (ET), Houston (-1 hr). So of the top 10 half are in the ET and only two are over an hour behind us including one that hates LA. This means you will lose a majority of east coast casual fans. You lose friends and family gathering for a weekend party, which is always special. I hate to say it, but you also lose prime beer drinking time, because more people are cautious about having to work the next day, which means Bud et al lose out on precious sales. If it really is the business of advertising driving this then these firms should be smart enough to realize that if they pushed for an earlier start time we, as fans, would love them more for it.

    Posted by MSGiro June 2, 08 02:51 PM
  1. what east coast bias?

    Posted by Danny T June 2, 08 02:57 PM
  1. to quote a famous Boston sports personality: "It is what it is".

    Get used to it, get over it, whatever it takes..deal with it

    Posted by BostonCarlsbad June 2, 08 02:58 PM
  1. Good God....I love Boston sports and Boston sports fans but stop being such wusses. If you can't stay up until 11:30 or midnight to watch your team in the finals anywhere from 4-7 times then you are no sports fan.

    I will be up watching every game. This is the Lakers folks. It's not the Hornets or the Spurs or the Mavericks. The Lakers. They are the Yankees in basketball uniforms. They have a crowd filled with actors and actresses and vairious other gigolos and bimbos. They have Phil Jackson who has ridden the coat tails of 3 NBA all time superstars to get his rings. And speaking of superstars, the Lakers boast on of the most hateable of all. Kobe Bryant. Yes Bryant, the same punk that, at best, committed adultery in Colorado and, at worst, committed rape. Now we are supposed to believe he is some upstanding citizen. Please.

    It's just as it was in the 80s. The Lakers glitz and glamour as a reflection of the mindless LA lifestyle against the Celtics grit and workmanlike attitudes. It's someone like Kevin Garnett, who cares only about his team, against someone like Kobe Bryant, who cares only about himself.

    And then, of course, there is the Cuckoo himself in his ringside seat.....smiling Jack Nicholson. I truly believe he keeps his sunglasses on to hide his bloodshot eyes.

    Beat LA.

    Posted by Gary June 2, 08 03:02 PM
  1. I agree with tcoogan7 -- the big problem is no weekend afternoon games. If they have to pick a weeknight start time to compromise between the coasts, so be it, but there's no excuse other than greed for not having at least one game that the kids can watch on the weekends.

    This is the same beef I had with MLB on Fox: I coach little league, and not one of those kids -- decked head-to-toe in Red Sox gear -- could watch an entire game. Heck, they could barely watch the first few innings. And now this.

    Would it kill the NBA (and MLB) to do one weekend afternoon game?

    Posted by Medford Mickey June 2, 08 03:05 PM
  1. Enough about the fans - how'd you like to be a PLAYER having to suit up and play the most intense game of basketball you will have ever played at NINE O'CLOCK AT NIGHT!!! Seems a bit unnatural to me to be playing intense sports at a time when most people are settling in for the evening.

    Posted by LakersFanSince'68 June 2, 08 03:17 PM
  1. Eric,
    While I understand your point, (and tend to agree), the only example that I think we need to think about following is that of European Soccer fans. The Champions League Final is held every year at a predertemined site, as are the World Cup / Euro Cup Finals every four years. Frequently, the fans of these teams / nations just re-arrange their lives and party like it's a Saturday. Rather than bitch & moan, why don't we embrace it. Christ, take Friday off if you need to, or invent a phantom doctor's appointment.

    Posted by Mike June 2, 08 03:19 PM
  1. What about the time it starts in the UK?? 1am. You guys have it easy :-)

    Posted by Rob Miller June 2, 08 03:36 PM
  1. I do remember the Lakers-Celtics back in the 80's. On a Sunday afternoon the games would be on. Of course it was always in the middle of my daughters dance recital, but this 9:00pm start is horrible. Cut out all the commercials and it would be over by 11.

    Posted by Ron June 2, 08 03:41 PM
  1. wow what a bunch babies you all are...im not watching b/c the game will end at 1130. come on if you're real fans then you will suck it up for 5 or 6 nights!!! oh and not everybody works 9-5, i work second shift and will actually to get to watch a game start to finish.

    Posted by alexio sumos June 2, 08 03:44 PM
  1. 9 pm is ridiculous. where is the consideration of the fans? the nba finally gets us back - and then they pull this?

    Posted by mike mac June 2, 08 04:20 PM
  1. What a pathetic, predictable excuse for a column. Did you google "standard topics for East Coast/West Coast playoff games"? Please don't turn on your tv, don't give your opinion, and stop being a Sally.

    Posted by Classless Concepts June 2, 08 04:22 PM
  1. The way to complain is to not watch the 2nd half of the game. I will try to watch but I doubt I'll make it too deep into the 3rd when I will crash.
    The thing that is really bad is that they don't use Friday night and Sunday afternoon for the games. Who cares if the game starts at 9 PM on Friday? And you have everyone's attention on Sunday afternoon. There are two games that everyone can realistically watch.
    As for the games being on too early on the West Coast, at least fans on the West Coast have the ability to listen to the game on the radio if they are stuck in traffic or they can head to a pub down the street from the office to watch the game and get home at a decent hour so they can go to work the next morning. Here, you miss the game if you doze off or you sleep walk through work the next morning.

    Posted by Jerry June 2, 08 04:38 PM
  1. The greatest sports call of the twenty-first century was, "We'll see you later tonight"( Game 4, 2004). So what if the games are late. Real fans give up a little sleep to watch the finals. Its been 21 years. I think we can all lose a little sleep, besides has KG even slept at all since the playoffs started?

    Posted by Andy June 2, 08 05:16 PM
  1. I have to say I'm amazed that this is even an issue and people are crying so much about it. What start time would people be happy with?? 7:30? 8:00? We've already heard the complaints about 8:30... If these games were starting at 4:30 or 5:00 ET, That would be miserable. Most people in the business world would miss the first half... And sorry Wilbur, watching a playoff game on DVR just doesn't do it for most sports fans.
    The reality is if it were a 5PM start a lot more people would miss the games. Staying up late is at least an option - leaving work at 3 isn't.

    People also need to relax on the NBA making money... That's business, they'd be dumb not to make as much as they can. I'm sure everyone reading this wouldn't pass up easy money.

    Unfortunately, you can't please everyone... Just enjoy the fact that the Celtics are in the NBA Finals again. If you're one of those who'll be getting 4 hours sleep - have an extra cup of joe...

    Posted by Josh June 2, 08 05:48 PM
  1. I am going to eat cake tomorrow and hold it in my system until Thursdays game. It will be for good luck because everyone likes cake.

    Posted by Bill June 2, 08 08:15 PM
  1. Wow. Stop the presses! Eric Wilbur is complaining again! And this time it only took him 1,000 words to say "I don't want to stay up late to watch my team in the NBA Finals for the first time in 21 years." Does this really constitute "staying up late"? My parents are 65 and watch the Leno monologue every night after the news. They work. So what Wilbur is saying is "I can't stay up as late as some 65-year-olds." And "I don't give a flip about the #2 media market in the country and their ability to watch the games." C'mon Eric, surprise me. Make me happy I clicked on your link one of these days. You'd complain if you won the lottery because the prize wasn't big enough or something. Let me guess, your nickname growing up was "Earache" wasn't it? I thought so. BEAT LA!


    Posted by Newsdork June 2, 08 08:38 PM
  1. It's the kids who really get screwed by the schedule. My 10 year old is praying for the series to go 7 games. Game 7 would be Thurs June 19...the last day of school is June 18, so that's the one game she'd be able to see. If there were Fri or Sat night games, I'd let her stay up for that, but no, The NBA in it's wisdom, decides it makes more sense to have 2 off days in a row while the teams sit here in Boston, then have 1 off day to travel across the country. Brilliant.

    Posted by Rick Robey June 2, 08 08:46 PM
  1. Hey, we're not Sallies; were Boston sports fans -- the best in the world. But some of us have kids, ok? Kids wearing hundreds of dollars in NBA (and MLB, and NFL, and NHL) gear -- hats, jerseys, t-shirts -- etc.. But our kids can't see their teams win (or even play for) the championship -- which doesn't happen every day, even here in Boston -- because the leagues can't give us even ONE WEEKEND DAY GAME.

    I'm self-employed, and can stay up late, but not everyone is. Some people have to get up and go to work; they're not all 25 and working some dumb-a*** first job they don't care about. They have actual responsibilities at work besides showing up trying not to look too hung-over.

    You want to talk about the NBA being a business? Let me explain it to you: they feel free to abuse the start times and not have an afternoon weekend game because they KNOW that Boston fans will stay up. They're playing to their advertisers knowing that Boston fans -- the best on the world -- will put up with anything to see the games.

    In other words, we're getting the business because we're NOT Sallies, and will put up with anything to follow our teams. Unlike LA fans that will leave the game if there's a better party down the street.

    But my kid didn't get to see either of the World Series wins, and he won't see the C's win either.

    How does that help the teams? His memories are waking up and having me tell him they won. Yippee.

    Posted by Medford Mickey June 2, 08 08:52 PM
  1. For anyone wishing to express their displeasure with the NBA's officiating, broadcasting, etc



    Posted by Pats-Sox Fan June 2, 08 10:07 PM
  1. Isn't it funny how the unemployed tease the people who actually have to get up early to hold a job about not "sucking it up" and staying up until 1AM.

    Hey west coast people... spend the extra 5 bucks and get a DVR. Then you can fast forward through the 3 minute "20 second timeouts" too!

    Posted by Jeff Dowder June 2, 08 11:19 PM
  1. Just to put to rest some questions asked here:
    In the 1980s weeknight games started at 9pm and Sunday games started at 3:30pm. This hasn't changed for 25 years for the simple reason that there are still fans on the west coast who want to watch the games.. TOO. The only difference is the length of self-promotion network commercials stretching it to 3 hours.
    Second, please don't show your ignorance with stereotypical responses. Those who go to Dodger games late aren't the same people who support the Lakers! As a Boston fan who lived in LA for a while, they love the Lakers as much as we love the Red Sox. Its a different beast, even for LA fans. Save your venom for people like Phil Jackson and Jerry West, who make no bones for their distaste of our city.

    Posted by Matt June 3, 08 12:59 AM
  1. All....just watch the 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1987 finals instead at your leisure. Not only will the basketball be better to watch, the crisp passing is not seen anymore, but the intensity will not be matched even though we know who won already. Celtics-Lakers is NOT a rivalry anymore. It's as much of a rivalry as Red Sox-Rockies.

    Posted by Ben June 3, 08 12:14 PM
  1. 9PM OR 9AM..it doesn't matter when it starts true FANS will watch this Finals !!!
    Go Celtics !!!

    Posted by Dan Z June 4, 08 11:18 AM
  1. I'm a Celtics fan living in the UK, so I've been used over the last two decades plus of getting up at silly hours of the night to follow the game. A 7.30pm game in Beantown is 12:30am here and West Coast trips 10.30pm eastern is 3.30am!

    I don't mind the 2am starts for the finals, I'll work around it because I've waited 21 years for my team to get back to the finals.

    However, I wish they would have put the Sunday games on at a decent time when everyone can watch. I grew up being able to watch NBA games on a Sunday thanks to it's afternoon/early evening timeslots. 9pm on a Sunday is just stupid.

    Posted by Niall Gray June 4, 08 11:24 AM
  1. I dont believe the athletes energy level could be @ optimal peak having to wait all day & partly into the nite especially those in their 30's ( the three ) I don't care how pumped u are in the brain....the body doesn't always do what the brain asks it to do....if they want to put a quality show on "they" owe it to the athlete & the fan to put it on @ a reasonable hour

    Posted by steve June 4, 08 01:00 PM
  1. Why not have the start time dictated by home court? It works in baseball!

    Posted by SJB June 4, 08 01:01 PM
  1. take 2 five hour energy shots & call me in the morning....CELTICS in the finals....we wouldn't of cared a year ago what time it started if we knew then

    Posted by hal June 4, 08 01:18 PM
  1. Craziness I tell you!!!
    The Celtics are playing the Lakers in the Finals!
    I am a C's fan who lives on the West Coast now. Here's the reality:
    I always miss the start of Red Sox games as I don't get home until 545PM (845PM EST). Sucks, but I find the positive out of it...I catch the game in the 4th or 5th inning and the game is over by 7PM my time and I have my whole night ahead of me. Imagine if you were a SF Giants fan living in Boston? Or a Lakers fan living in Boston? You wouldn't be able to START watching your team's games until 10 or 1030PM (EST) each night!
    You need to see both sides of the story. If we as sports fans didn't wanna get screwed by start times then we should move to a Central or Mountain Time Zone city.
    The 830PM (EST) time probably is the best compromise for East and West Coast fans. 8PM EST is too early (Yes, most 9-5ers on the West Coast will miss the first 2 Quarters). 9PM EST works best for us West Coasters and being from the East Coast I feel your misery (Monday Night Football sucks on the East Coast!)
    But the Celtics are in the Finals and I am sure everyone can put their whining aside and either take a nap before the Game so they can stay up later or just suck it up the next day at work with an hour or two less sleep.
    For the kids...sorry...but you are still kids... and if you wanna watch the game and miss your bed time then you need to talk to mommy or daddy and get their permission or just suck it up also.
    Really, when you were 8-12 years old, you complained about the start times? I don't remember my Dad apologizing to me because the Celtics, Bruins or Red Sox game was starting late!
    Go C's!!!

    Posted by dankwatts June 4, 08 01:23 PM
  1. It's unfortunate, but that's how it is. The only thing I don't agree with is the late starts on Sunday. These games can be made at 8 p.m. ET. Everyone's home from church, and they're probably relaxing at home. Besides, you know schools will give kids a break if they say they stayed up watching a Celtic game especially if the teacher's a BBall fan. I remember the World Cup in 02 when the U.S. had to play at 3:30 am PT. I still woke up to watch them despite it being a workday. BE SPORTS FANS FOLKS! It's only a few nights you have to endure!

    Posted by J2ThaRome June 4, 08 01:44 PM
  1. Just take a nap before the game. DUH.

    Posted by C. Ray June 4, 08 02:00 PM

    Posted by Bryan June 4, 08 02:37 PM
  1. People's schedules and time zones are different. I see nothing wrong with the NBA choosing a time slot that allows the largest rating, and therfore the most people watching. Clearly the late start is making it easier for more people to watch or they would not be doing it.

    Posted by tjl June 4, 08 03:04 PM
  1. Hey Tim Jameson:

    I'm surpsied that you don't know how to spell surprised. It isn't like this:"surprized."

    Posted by Redcee June 4, 08 03:33 PM
  1. I dont understand why people complain about stuff like this so much. First of all, if you are an adult, is it really that difficult to stay up a little past midnight to watch the game if you are a real fan of the teams involved? If you are a parent, is it really going to effect your kids futures if you let them stay up till a little past midnight to watch something they dont get to see that often, which is their favorite team in a championship series? Let me tell you something, watching the Celtics in the NBA finals is going to be something they remember and care about 20 years from now alot more than the history of the Ming Dynasty that they slept through in history class the next morning.

    Posted by Matt June 4, 08 04:57 PM
  1. Why not settle for 7:30pm start for games played on East Coast and 9:00pm for games on the West Coast? West Coasters can suck it up and leave work early while East Coasters can suck it up when they have to stay up past midnight; at least everyone will suffer at some point.

    Go C's!

    Posted by moe June 4, 08 07:20 PM
  1. Aren't the kids off school yet? If so, don't complain, you need to save your venting for your beloved Celtics after they lose. Granted it won't be four, but when we take 1 out of the first two, it's ovah. Also, remember when Nick Van Excel beat you guys with that fantastic turnaround shot from 29 feet out? We all do out here, what a way to close the Gahdan. Sure shut you guys up quick. I have never heard a home arena so quiet. It was so quiet you could hear Red moaning.
    Just stop complaining about the long hours. Last Saturday I had to stay up till 12 to watch the MMA's. You guys were done by 9.
    I am from back East. I am still a Senator fan and had to wait 35 years for them to return to DC and I still suffer with them daily. I still think #9 Jurgensen was and is the best football player ever.
    Good luck in the finals, it is going to be very exciting. I just don't want the Lakers to sweep you guys, I want to watch at least 6 more games of exciting NBA action.
    I am going to miss basketball all summer and will be watching for updates on Andrew Bynums' condtion.

    Posted by Mike Dills June 4, 08 11:22 PM
  1. Shoot, Red once said that Boston is the Center of the Basketball world. So id any demographic, time zone or whatever should be given "right of way here" it should be for the team with the BEST record in the damn league.

    Start the games early, like 8pm Eastern, show games on Saturdays so the resident Laker-fan in the office wont have an excuse to get to work late AGAIN on Monday lolz

    Oh yeah, it might also be a good idea to lobby the bosses to bend the tardiness rule a little if they insist on showing late Sunday games.

    Posted by aids June 5, 08 05:13 AM
  1. Having lived on both the East and West coasts, I can see both sides. Just saying that people can leave work early is really short-sighted. It is nice that most of you seem able to determine your own work schedules, but for a lot of people in this country, they can't do that. You have to work when you are scheduled to work.

    I came to the determination that I would much rather live on the East Coast, choose to stay up late and lose out on a little sleep. Is it really that big a deal to go to work or school on 5 or 6 hours of sleep? I think not. As opposed to being on the West Coast and having to skip out on work, or calling in sick, I'll take the stay up late option any day.

    And I agree that the true fans will be there regardless of start time. And as fcr DVRing the game and fast forwarding, that isn't an option. The advertisers don't want you skipping their commercials. It isn't a case of the NBA picking it for what is good for the fans. It is what is good for the money.

    Once you realize things are changing, and you stop whining, it will all be for the better. And people will know you are a true fan and stuck with your team despite missing a couple hours of sleep.

    Posted by Smitty June 5, 08 09:07 AM
  1. In response to the first post here and all other ones, one way to deal with this is go to sleep a little earlier, DVR the game and then wake up early and get through the game, w/out halftime, forwarding through extended commercials, etc. will take a lot of time off the actual viewing time. Although if you do have young kids, this will not take care of the problem.

    Posted by Matt June 5, 08 09:51 PM
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