From time to time people have called into the radio show and asked the question and I always have the same response. The question is, “Rob, can Baltimore support the NBA?” My answer was then, and still is “No”. Baltimore is not a city that could nor would support a team from the National Basketball Association. Forget about the fact that the Washington Wizards would never allow that, it wouldn’t happen anyway.
People may lie but numbers usually don’t. On Monday, the Washington Wizards played host to the New Orleans Pelicans. There were slightly over 5,100 people at the Royal Farms Arena. I know, Baltimore doesn’t like D.C. teams. If that’s really the reason, shame on people who love the NBA. The problem is, I don’t know how many people in Baltimore love the NBA.
I love sports, naturally, not just because it’s my job but because I’ve always loved sports. The National Basketball Association doesn’t hold my interest for an 82 game regular season. Major League Baseball does for 162 games, the National Football League does for 16 games, college football does from Labor Day weekend through the National Championship game and college basketball certainly does through March Madness.
I’m sure there are die hard fans of the NBA in the Charm City and surrounding areas. I just don’t think there are enough to even dream about supporting a team.
If you’re hungry for something, you show that when it’s time to show your hunger. On August 27, 1992 the New Orleans Saints defeated the Miami Dolphins 17-3. 60,021 people showed up at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore to show the NFL that Baltimore wanted football to return. No one cared about either team. That was the city’s opportunity to show their passion for a league that had abandoned this area. That passion does not exist for professional basketball here. If it did, there would have been more than 5,100 people at the “Chicken Box” Monday night.
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