The NBA is a star-driven league.
They don’t just determine the results on the court, but the television ratings as well.
And the Nets are feeling the loss of theirs.
The minute Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were traded, the Nets were going to take a hit in terms of not just national interest but local TV ratings.
And while their attendance has stayed strong, their ratings on YES Network have suffered despite Emmy-winning broadcasts.
The Nets entered this week averaging 43,000 total viewers per game on YES.
That’s down 34.85 percent from 66,600 at this same point last season, when both Durant and Irving were still in Brooklyn.
Two seasons ago — when the Nets broke training camp with their Big 3 of Durant, Irving and James Harden — they averaged 78,000 total viewers on YES, their most-viewed “traditional” season since 2013-14, when they averaged 85,000.
That team was led by Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
But Brooklyn has fallen off by 35,000 since then, or 44.8 percent.
This despite Ian Eagle, Sarah Kustok, producer Frank DiGraci and others all winning NY Emmys.
And if there is any doubt as to the impact of star power on those numbers, the Nets’ ratings are actually up 19 percent from roughly the same period during the 2018-19 season, their last campaign before Irving and Durant.
The Knicks are averaging 115,000 viewers per game.
Backup center Day’Ron Sharpe (knee) will miss Wednesday’s game at Portland.
Guard Ben Simmons (back) is expected to make the three-game West Coast trip with the Nets and ramp up his return-to-play.
Trail Blazers guard Shaedon Sharpe is out for at least two weeks after suffering a lower abdominal strain.