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Does The NBA Need Its Own Hard Knocks Show?

NBA Hard Knocks


As Dallas Cowboys fans enjoy their finals few preseason peeks at the team thanks to HBO’s Hard Knocks, one famous fan of “America’s Team” is lobbying for the NBA to start the same type of show the NBA. That fan, LeBron James, is likely speaking more like someone who would be sitting on the couch enjoying an NBA Hard Knocks episode rather than being followed by cameras that he would have little control over. Then again, when hasn’t James been willing to speak to the people, and when has a sports league or franchise turned away easy money? So, does the NBA need its own Hard Knocks show? 

There will be few teams, if any, that receive more attention during the 2021-22 NBA season than the Los Angeles Lakers. With a cast of characters that include Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Russell Westbrook, regardless of if the Lakers wins or loses, they will make headlines this season. So, while it may sound like LeBron James is lobbying for HBO to follow the Lakers around this fall during training camp, it is more likely that the front office and coaching staff is saying stay way to the cable network.

And if you need any proof of that, just look and how the NFL has to twist the arm of their franchises, even putting rules in place to secure a list of teams that are chosen from every year to be on Hard Knocks.


If Adam Silver and the NBA were looking at this from a marketing standpoint, they would make an effort to tap a young, up and coming team for a show like Hard Knocks. That’s because, while the Lakers bring their own brand and star power wherever they go, some fans may be interested in learning about some of the lesser-known NBA players that won’t be on national television two dozen times this season, but could make an impact some the playoffs.

The problem with any show like Hard Knocks is that every head coach in every sport acts as if they are working on the Manhattan Project and what they are teaching their players is so secretive, that only those people on the practice floor can know it. I am sure there would be at least one NBA head coach who would refuse to run a simple pick-and-roll play in front of television cameras for fear that a rival might see it and know what to look for during the season.

What most players and organizations don’t understand, however, is that Hard Knocks is more interesting when they show the moments away from the practice field. Because most fans want to get to know the person out of uniform, not in it. They are also looking for someone to root for.

It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction LeBron James’ comments draw from other teams around the NBA, from his own front office and even the commissioner’s office. I am not sure how interesting watching a roster of 15 or 20 people play basketball would be, and without the volume of players that fans can latch onto, finding a new player to cheer for would be difficult. For my money, having a Major League Baseball Hard Knocks style show would be more interesting; but when you are LeBron James, you have the power to make even bad ideas come true.