The NBA held one of its marquee events Thursday night, the NBA Draft, and many fans tuned in … and let out a huge collective yawn.
The words “NBA Draft” and “boring” were so ubiquitous on Twitter it’s surprising the term “NBA Draft is boring” did not trend.
Many fan complaints bore the same theme. Too many of the top selections were unfamiliar to many fans. Four out of the top five picks, including No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama, did not come from the NCAA basketball ranks, where fans traditionally start following players.
Some fans also pointed the finger at ESPN’s draft coverage. The network tried to add some color to the broadcast, including a segment with reporter Marty Smith’s appearance in cowboy gear at the San Antonio Spurs draft party. Yet many fans pointed out that ESPN’s broadcasters are not as entertaining, colorful, or beloved as TNT’s Inside the NBA crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith.
The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg noted, “The biggest sports media crime is TNT not having the draft. Young people have no idea how much more fun it was when Charles, Kenny and Ernie did it.”
Other fans thought ESPN went too far in its praise of Wembanyama, one of the most heralded players to ever enter the draft.
Fans checking in on Twitter were not kind to the draft, or ESPN’s coverage.
the NBA draft is just not a good TV event. you’ve got 4 of the top 5 picks being guys nobody in america has heard of, let alone watched, you’ve got inconsistent at best coverage, it’s slow and boring, it just doesn’t work.
— shea (@sheanorling) June 23, 2023
The biggest sports media crime is TNT not having the draft. Young people have no idea how much more fun it was when Charles, Kenny and Ernie did it.
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) June 23, 2023
NBA needs to hire the NFL draft folks for entertainment purposes this coverage is kinda boring
— Robert Randolph (@robertrandolph) June 23, 2023
Boring NBA draft so far
— Joke ? (@Jokeeee_) June 23, 2023
This coverage is awful & this draft is boring. Clearly the NBA needs its next star with LeBron nearing the end. But they are laying it on THICK with Wembanyama.
— SportsCashLife (@sportscashlife) June 23, 2023