"Just not sexy enough" — Tim Legler uncovers truth about ESPN's views on covering small-market teams 

NBA: Playoffs-Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks
The Indiana Pacers are a small-market NBA team

Former NBA star and current ESPN analyst Tim Legler recently went into detail about how the network prioritizes the coverage of bigger NBA teams at the expense of small-market teams. Legler, speaking on The Ryen Russillo podcast, spoke about meetings in which he tried to talk about the Indiana Pacers and their expansive brand of basketball.

The Pacers are one of the four teams still in the reckoning for the NBA title this season, and they came extremely close to pulling off an upset in their Game 1 matchup against the Boston Celtics. However, they have traditionally not been a "big-market team," and Legler suggested that ESPN’s NBA coverage decisions are based on statistics and data.

He said that ESPN views coverage around the Pacers as "not sexy enough." Legler explained during the podcast appearance:

“And I wish I had video of all the meetings I’ve been in this year at ESPN when I wanted to talk more about the Indiana Pacers. Particularly after they got Siakam, and it’s just not sexy enough, you know?”

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While major media outlets like ESPN are known to prioritize certain NBA teams’ coverage based on the numbers surrounding it, the Pacers have had an extremely impressive campaign thus far. Despite finishing only as the sixth seed in the East, they have already knocked out the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks.

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While there is little doubt that the Pacers have traditionally been a small-market team, things have changed for the better recently. The rise of Tyrese Haliburton and the presence of stars such as Pascal Siakam, Obi Toppin and Myles Turner suggests they will get better in the coming campaigns.

The Pacers were also the finalists of the first In-Season Cup tournament where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this season. With a highly entertaining brand of basketball that revolves around forcing turnovers and quick transitions, the Pacers’ talented young roster has exceeded expectations.

Indiana was leading the Celtics 117-114 with 10 seconds remaining on the clock. However, a late Jaylen Brown three-pointer led the game to overtime, where Jayson Tatum stole the show. Pascal Siakam finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Haliburton also had a double-double of 23 points and 10 assists. Finally, Turner finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, registering his team's third double-double of the night.

Still, the Pacers lost 133-128, but they will have the bit between their teeth for the rest of the series. Game 2 is set to be played at TD Garden, after which the Eastern Conference Finals head to Indiana.

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