How many times have we heard that premium NBA talent will not come to Denver becuase it's a "small market"? I heard this subject being discussed as recently as yesterday on Big Al and Dmac's show on 104.3 the Fan. It seems to be a consensus that the Nuggets must discover hidden gems if they are to be competitive because the best players will not want to come here.
Denver is the 17th largest TV market in the Nation - just behind Minneapolis and Miami and just ahead of Cleveland / Akron and Sacramento.
Oklahoma City is 44th.
Arbitron, the company that monitors radio listener ship, lists Denver as the 20th largest radio market.
Oklahoma City is 50th.
If media market size is such a determining factor in the ability of a city to find success in the NBA why did Denver lose to to the Lakers in the Playoffs while it appears as though the Oklahoma City Thunder might sweep them?
It just doesn't add up.
It is true that athletes - NBA stars in particular - crave a National spotlight (and endorsement opportunities) and that many wish to play on New York and LA for those reasons. Only so many can, though. Most must choose teams between the coasts to play for.
Oklahoma City has constructed a great team and they have done so in a market far, far smaller than Denver. The population of the greater Denver area is believed to be right around 2.5 million people. Metro OKC is home to roughly half that many people.
The small market excuse doesn't hold water and OKC is proof.