But would he have been able to achieve any of that if they were still playing at Perry Lakes in front of two thousand people with no TV?
Perry Lakes was tiny. It wouldn't have even held 2000 people. So I don't get what the hypothetical point would have been to attract spectators that couldn't get in plus potential viewers who couldn't watch.
Anyway you've missed my point, which was that on-court results alone don't always equate to filling a new big stadium or getting people tuning in, especially when it's a sport that has basically never been televised before in that city other than during the Olympics, and one that the general public does not understand. Cal was a promoter's dream because he was charismatic and loved attention, plus he played a flashy brand of basketball, which helped it catch on as well. But he got people engaged with himself and the players first, and made them want to learn about the actual sport.
Random kids with no major interest in sport were suddenly getting basketballs and trying to learn fancy dribbling sequences and look-away passes, and the few rings at the school were suddenly in crazy demand during lunch break. Basketball in Perth went from virtually zero profile to huge by the time season 2 was underway, and Cal was everywhere. I'd equate him to Nic Naitanui-level in terms of general recognition factor in that it went beyond just sport followers. JC was the standout player of the team with a crazy scoring average, but what was the basketball being sold? The Black Pearl.
Not only was basketball a new thing for Perth, but so was having our own Viv Richards-esque smooth talking, fly-dressing black athlete. (Which just reminded me that the first time I ever snuck into a nightclub he was there ... he was popular in that environment too).