WASHINGTON — The Wizards have had their qualms with national television scheduling before.
John Wall has, on numerous occasions, publicly remarked on the league not respecting Washington in the national television schedule. While major-market teams such as the Lakers and Knicks have seen massive national exposure despite consistently subpar play, the Wizards have won at least half their games four seasons in a row.
That success, relative as it was, led to virtually no payoff even last season. At the start of the 2016-17 season, the Wizards had just five nationally-televised games on the schedule. Five. Despite Wall being one of the league’s most entertaining players, the league decided five times for the national audience was sufficient.
Not so this time around. With the league having revamped its schedule — the season now starts nearly two weeks earlier, leaving extra time on either side of back-to-backs — and more games being shown on national television than ever before, Washington is getting plenty of love from the major networks.
Eighteen times this season you can see the Wizards play on ESPN, TNT or ABC. And that’s not including the 10 times they’ll appear on NBATV.
That’s a lot of Wizards basketball. No, it doesn’t quite stack up to the 31 times the Warriors will play on national television, or the 28 times the Rockets will, or the 27 times the Cavaliers and Thunder will, but it’s still a healthy chunk of action. That’s basically 22 percent of their games on one of the three major networks.
Only eight teams (the above four teams, plus the Celtics, Spurs, Lakers and Clippers) are scheduled to play more nationally-televised games than the Wizards are. Not bad company.
What’s more, the league further paid compliments to the Wizards by scheduling nationally-televised games on the league’s opening weekend and Christmas, against the 76ers and Celtics, respectively, as compiled by SB Nation.
Here are a few other interesting wrinkles with Washington’s national schedule: