The NBA has to be giddy today, with two of the most historic basketball events in a generation happening on the same night, as legend Kobe Bryan plays his last game and the Golden State Warriors attempt to win their record 73rd regular season game.
For fun (but with scientific rigor, of course), we asked Americans whether they would prefer to see Kobe’s final game or Golden State’s record attempt in person – outrageous ticket prices aside. Ross McGowan, our cynical chief data scientist assumed it would be lop-sided. “Who cares about Kobe outside of Los Angeles?” he said. Well, Ross, it turns out lots of people do.
We surveyed 823 NBA fans aged 13 and older in the past 18 hours and, in fairness to Ross, found that 58% of people would rather attend the Golden State game. But, that also means that 42% would prefer to see Kobe play his final minutes. Closer than some people expected.
Golden State won out for a few clear reasons. First, men were much more likely to choose the record-chasing game. Women were evenly divided. The youngest, GenZ, respondents and the older folks tipped heavily in favor of Golden State. Millennials were split down the middle. And we see pretty big differences by race. White respondents chose Golden State overwhelmingly. Blacks picked Golden State only slightly. Hispanics would rather see Kobe, 52-48.
No matter what, tonight is setting up to be a historic one for the world of sports. I, for one, would rather be at the Penguins-Rangers playoff game. But I’ll be on a plane. Boo-hoo.