Monday , Oct , 06 , 2008 Oly Sandor

5 NBA teams vulnerable in economic recession: Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies

Stocks are crashing. Real estate is a mess. And Democrats and Republicans wasted days disagreeing on a bailout. The NBA is in no way immune. League revenues could stagnate or decline, which means the salary-cap declines. Several markets could feel the sting in their bottom line …

5 NBA teams vulnerable in economic recession: Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, Memphis GrizzliesEvery week, HoopsVibe The Blog will drop a basketball related list for fans to debate. We call it ‘Listed’ …

The NBA is a want, not a need. David Stern’s league relies on individuals and businesses spending discretionary income on tickets, parking, jerseys, and anything else with ‘The Logo’ brand.

So what happens when there is little discretionary income? Even worse, what happens when there is no discretionary income? We could soon find out. The American economy is currently in a worse state than Yonkers rapper DMX (I liked X’s early stuff, but right now it’s dark and hell is hot).

Stocks are crashing. Real estate is a mess. And Democrats and Republicans wasted days disagreeing on a bailout. The NBA is in no way immune. League revenues could stagnate or decline, which means the salary-cap declines. Several markets could feel the sting in their bottom line.

In this edition of ‘Listed’, HoopsVibe The Blog examines five teams who could be hampered by the economic downturn. As always, get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.

Charlotte Bobcats:

Problems: Charlotte is a banking hub for America, with several institutions having head offices in the expanding city. If banks are in trouble, or reducing spending, then corporate sponsorships fall. Worst of all, the NBA has failed miserably to reconnect with the community since returning to Charlotte.

Saving Grace: North Carolina is a basketball hotbed. Years ago, in their Hornet days, Charlotte led the league in attendance. They also have some young pieces and a great teacher (when not eyeing his next gig) in Larry Brown, so a renaissance is possible.

Detroit Pistons:

Problems: For years, Michigan has been in recession. And with new car sales hitting record lows, Detroit and the big automakers will again get hammered –and hard. Eventually, the city’s four professional teams will feel the pinch, including the Pistons.

Saving Grace: Joe Dumars has assembled a competitive and economically efficient team. Detroit never overpays players. And the gentleman paying those players, William Davidson, is a class act with deep pockets.

New Orleans Hornets:

Problems: ‘The Big Easy’ was never a rich city. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina decimated the state and government relief has been disappointing. Regrettably, people and businesses have been slow to return full-time. And tourism dollars typically decline in a recession. Also, New Orleans’ owner George Shinn has a dubious reputation from his days in Charlotte, too.    

Saving Grace: There are three positives in Louisiana. First, despite a struggling economy, New Orleans is resilient and supports their teams. Second, Chris Paul will keep them on top of the Western Conference. Third, David Stern and the NBA publicly committed to supporting the Hornets.

New Jersey Nets:

Problems: What happened to Brooklyn? Their move has once again been delayed and the club languishes as a lame duck in Jersey. Owner Bruce Ratner is heavily tied to real estate development and could get exposed in a downturn.

Saving Grace: The Nets are capable of pushing for the playoffs. But their true saviour plays in Cleveland, is two seasons away from unrestricted free agency, and there is little, if no, guarantee he comes.       

Memphis Grizzlies:

Problems: The honeymoon is over. After some early success, Memphis has lost interest in the NBA. Attendance is down; owner Michael Heisley wants to sell, but can’t find a buyer.

Saving Grace: Simply put, Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo.

Which NBA city struggles most with the pending economic downturn? Will it impact you buying tickets? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Detroit Derek.