I always wonder and argue with young boys in my country if today's so called superstar Lebron James remained nothing but a role player had he played in 90's or the 80's because back then there was even a time there was no flagrant foul and there was even an illegal defense and in my opinion, there is no need to mention that Micael Jordan was the Greatest Of All Time. The boys here argue Michael was nobody but an old guy, today's players are muscular than the players in 80's and 90's and well scientifically trained, so on and so forth. What is the general reaction in today's U.S about this?

What I would like to hear is the general air towards the sport, basketball ( if possible toward the NBA too ), compared with the general air in 80's and 90's. Did it decline in the homeland, which is the U.S?

Data the NBA's TV final audience ratings.

enter image description here

Since user @JonCuster started talking about the American football, here is the Super Bowl television ratings. ( I know that the most popular sports in the U.S is the American football. )

Per his claim, the number of TV audience on Super Bowl is rising, contrary to that of the NBA.

enter image description here

If someone shows me the data, and if it's reasonable, I would like to "surrender", otherwise I will hold mine. ( Who wouldn't watch the NBA Finals, which decides the championship of the year, if they are the NBA fans. )

P.S 1 I didn't know if there was a sports SE in SE so please migrate should moderators consider if this question belongs there. Sorry.

P.S2 Considering the simultaneous downvote right after asking at Sports SE, I can't expect any reasonable answer from there, I think. So let me ask here kindly. Thanks.

Thank you in advance.

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    P.S I would like to use the answer as the supplement data when next time I will argue with young lads in my country like a child:). Thank you. – Kentaro Oct 19 at 23:52
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    P.S2 Seriously, I will move this question to sports SE since this question might better fit there. ( I really didn't know that ). Honestly, I just remain the question here so that I will not lose the upvote. Sorry. – Kentaro Oct 20 at 1:15
  • P.S 3 I moved this question to Sports SE. I would like to delete this question within 2-3 days if any answer does not come. – Kentaro Oct 20 at 2:24
  • Given that viewer numbers have changed for all sports over the last 40 years because of large changes to viewing options, using that data is problematic at best. – Jon Custer Oct 20 at 16:05
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    Why would you do that? IMO self-answer the question with a few references... It's not a bad question, nor is it an obvious one without remembering those days. Just, anyone who reads the intro of Jordan's page can reasonably come to the conclusion that a) he really was super well marketed, and because of that, b) he really drove the popularity of basketball all by himself. As I wrote in an earlier comment, the audience peaks in your chart correspond to when Jordan was playing. – Denis de Bernardy Oct 20 at 17:42

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