Contraction and the Small Market Myth

Contraction is a word/theme that has been tossed around the NBA ionosphere for years and has gained steam throughout the lockout, with many prominent NBA writers/bloggers openly calling for it, going as far to say that the league cannot profit without it. The purpose of this post is not necessarily to dispute the idea of contraction, it is more so to eliminate the Timberwolves as a candidate. Our Wolves are often haphazardly tossed onto the contraction chopping block by those who favor deleting teams, and the most common reason for this is the "small market myth"

"The Small Market Myth"   (quotes help my argument that it's false, see)

I dislike defensive Minnesota fans that take umbrage at any perceived slight against our state/teams. It's really one of my biggest pet peeves, "the cornfields" thing annoys me to no end, and I often find myself a cynic about the idea that we "get no respect". Teams that are run well and win get respect no matter the location/market and we need to get off this crutch.

That being said, I can't help but get all worked up when I hear the Timberwolves described as "being in a small market" especially in an argument to contract the team.

According to nielsen, Minneapolis - St. Paul is the 15th largest television market  (14th in the NBA out of 30). Minnesota has 4 professional sports teams and a Big Ten school (sure they all suck, but still). Companies such as United Health, Target, Best Buy, U.S. Bancorp, and General Mills are all based here.

San Antonio is ranked 37th by neilsen

Las Vegas (assumed future destination for a team) is #42

Oklahoma City is #45

Memphis, #48

You get the point.

The Wolves have been run poorly, but who's to say OKC, run by Clay Bennett (see SuperSonics, Seattle) isn't run poorly 8 years from now? The basis for contracting a team should be a 40 year forecast, not a decision based on the last decade. If contraction happens (and I hope it doesn't) the Wolves should not be on the short list of candidates, despite what's perpetutated online. Charlotte, New Orleans (owned by the league) and Sacramento should all be WAY ahead in that sad line.

Just sick of hearing about being a small market, I'm not saying that the Twin Cities are like NY, LA, or CHI, but we aren't that small, just cold and poorly run.

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