CBS' last year as the NBA's over-the-air-carrier came in 1990. Starting in 1991, NBC became the NBA's network, and Jordan became their greatest asset. The Bulls-Suns Finals of 1993 set the record at the time for the highest Nielsen rating at 17.9, a mark that would only be eclipsed by the '98 Finals between the Bulls and the Jazz. These series' contributed to the brouhaha we have today between the networks to broadcast these hyped contests. In its most recent deal back in 2007, the NBA signed extensions with major networks (ESPN and Turner Sports) to receive $930 million a year for all its broadcast rights. Damn.
Major networks would not be clamoring over NBA TV deals.