NBA TV schedule highlights LeBron James' true value to Miami and Cleveland

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LeBron James' exit from the Miami Heat continues to hurt the South Florida franchise and it's fans.

2014-15 NBA Season

With the schedule for the 2014-15 NBA season having been officially released Wednesday evening the games chosen for television coverage have too been confirmed, and LeBron's shock exit from Miami has certainly had a huge impact on his former team - as well of course as his home-tome Cleveland Cavaliers.

Last season, with LeBron James leading the Miami Heat in pursuit of a third consecutive NBA title, 29 of the franchise's regular-season contests were selected for national television coverage by the major broadcasters.

In a post-LeBron world however the Miami Heat are suddenly far less newsworthy and their TV coverage for the new season reflects as much. Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Heat roster will play just 20 times in front of a national audience.

Cleveland suddenly a big draw

The impact on the Cleveland Cavaliers is even more significant. 

Let's face it, the Cavaliers were fairly awful last season. Finishing with an uninspiring 33-49 record (good enough for just 10th spot in a poor Eastern Conference) they meandered through the regular-season under the radar of almost everyone outside of the state border.

As such the demand for a prime time slot to watch Cleveland in action was non-existent with the Ohio franchise featuring live just nine times on the national channels.

Jump forward to the present with a returning superstar in LeBron James heading a roster than could soon include perennial All-Star Kevin Love and that figure will jump to 29 games come the 2014-15 NBA season.

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Only the Oklahoma City Thunder and LA Clippers (32 games), and the Chicago Bulls (30 games) will have more games televised nationally next season.

The Miami Heat meanwhile have fallen below the likes of the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers.

LeBron media frenzy

As much as LeBron James is a great player, one of the most beneficial aspects of having the four-time NBA MVP in your roster is the merchandising and money-making opportunities it affords you.

LeBron's new Cavs jersey is unsurprisingly the best seller in the NBA, whilst reports have suggested that his arrival back 'home' could help generate over $500 million for the Cleveland economy.

On arriving in Miami in 2010 LeBron James immediately helped the Heat progress to the next level as Pat Riley and Micky Arison went about building a dynasty. 

Four NBA final appearances, relentless sell-outs at the American Airlines Arena and a huge influx of fans jumping on the bandwagon have followed. The 2014-15 TV schedule however hints at more frugal times ahead.


Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat
LeBron James

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