I remember the conversation well. I was talking to an owner of an NBA team a couple years ago and he told me that the best of both worlds would be if his team won the championship, but took every series to seven games.
Sure, bad for his heart, but good for his pocket.
The Boston Celtics just completed the greatest turnaround in NBA history, but they also will likely turn in the most profitable run in postseason history. By taking the first two series to seven games and the last two to six games, they played in 26 of 28 possible playoff games and thanks to having home court advantage, hosted a league record 14 home playoff games.
That's amazing when you consider that for the month of January and February combined, the Celtics played 14 home games.
I interviewed Celtics co-owner and managing partner Stephen Pagliuca this morning and he said: "We were not thinking about the bottom line. If you win, success follows. We would have loved to have done this in 16 games. No amount of money is worth the championship. Basically winning in 16 games would have been better than winning it in 20-whatever it was."
Take a look at how many playoff games other championship teams have played during their runs, keeping in mind that the first round went from best of five to best of seven in 2003:
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