The NBA season is starting up soon, and it got me thinking, “is the NBA the best out of the four main American sports leagues, better than MLB, NFL, and NHL?” The simple answer is yes. Am I biased because I love basketball more than any other sport? Of course. Just because I like basketball the best does not mean that I do not like football or baseball. I just get more invested in basketball. I am sure many of people would disagree because “the NBA is terrible, nobody tries,” or “everyone just shoots threes.” This is the audience I am going to
I am sure many of people would disagree because “the NBA is terrible, nobody tries,” or “everyone just shoots threes.” You naysayers are the audience I am going to tackle head-on in this article, and by the end of it, I can almost guarantee you’ll look at the NBA differently.
Talent is Everywhere
The NBA is filled with talented players. I’m not saying that the athletes in other sports are not talented, but the NBA is a group of the most freakish, elite athletes in the entire world. Tell me I’m wrong. Tell me which of the other sports has guys who have 40+” verticals, stand closer to 7 feet tall than they are to 6 feet, and can do unbelievable things with a ball. Every game produces highlights and leaves the fans in awe. The worst player in the entire league is still an amazing basketball player. Do you know how good you have to be to actually make the NBA? Only about 450 people in the entire world have the privilege to make the NBA, so the talent pool is filled with great players.
Also how in the world are Dragic and Stephenson lumped in with those players above? Wild move by the person who made that picture.
Which Other Sports Get People to Watch Preseason Games?
The first instinct when reading this point is that the NFL preseason is very popular. Is it though? Other than the first game, what is there to look forward to for NFL preseason games? The starters rarely pay and you are basically watching back ups versus back ups. Not great.
The NBA is a polar opposite. Stadiums have been sold out this season for preseason games. Fans are eager to see how rookies play, scope out new faces on new teams, and see their favorite teams hit the floor again after a long offseason hiatus. This season, more people have attended and viewed the NBA preseason than the NFL ever has. Just face it, the NBA preseason is going to continue to be a success for many years to come.
The NBA is Relevant Year Round
Regular season, postseason, offseason, the NBA is talked about heavily in the sports world every day. People love talking basketball. This is mostly thanks to the new commissioner, Adam Silver. He changed rules so the NBA starts two weeks earlier, the playoffs are longer, and had an influence in cap space making it available for players to team up and fit the cap space a team has.
Obviously, people are going to talk NBA during the season, but the most impressive part is how it is still relevant during the offseason. With players signing on new teams, block buster trades, and the NBA draft, it is almost impossible to ignore NBA news.
There are also so many different leagues that NBA fans can watch throughout the season. To start, Ice Cube started the Big 3 League, which featured former NBA players from Allen Iverson to Jason Williams to Brian Scalabrine. Then the NBA Summer League started, which was one of the most anticipated seasons so far, featuring a star-studded rookie class. Of course, the preseason is a success as I previously talked about, but small private leagues like the Drew League features NBA stars such as James Harden, John Wall, and Nick Young. All of these leagues gave fans access to watch their favorite players during the offseason, and there is NO other sport that gives their fan this much yearlong access.
The NBA is a Global Powerhouse
The NBA dominates the other sports in global viewership. Every offseason, teams scrimmage, practice, and visit different countries in order to spread their popularity and the game of basketball. Foreign players get drafted to the NBA all the time and become successful players. Yes, the NHL has players from all around the world and the MLB as a lot of players from Spanish-speaking countries, but the NBA has taken over European countries, most of Asia with China and India, and is even spreading to parts of Africa. Their merchandise sells faster than they would ever expect it to, causing them to import NBA merchandise across the country constantly. The NFL is trying to become more global by playing games in London, but come on, when the entire world other than the United States knows football to be soccer, how successful is the NFL globally?
Offense Offense Offense
Who doesn’t love points? Who cares if the defense isn’t always the best? These guys can put the ball in the hoop, simple as that. This is why baseball and soccer games are so boring. They are sooooo long and end like 2-0 or something. With the NBA, you can be in and out in about two hours and be entertained the entire time. Whether it be deep 3 balls, insane dunks, or nifty finishes at the rim, the fans love whenever their team scores. The more scoring the better, honestly.
All-Star Weekend is the Best
The NBA all-star weekend is easily the most entertaining all-star break of all the sports. They schedule during schools’ February vacations so little kids are allowed to stay up late at night and watch their heroes compete in the dunk contest, 3-point shootout, and coveted all-star game. The entire weekend is a spectacle and must-watch television. They kick off the weekend on Friday night with the Rising Stars game in which the rookies and second-year players face off against each other. Recently, they did the United States versus the World in which US-born players competed against players from any other country. All in all, there isn’t much to complain about that night. They also show the Celebrity game, which is always funny to watch. Some surprise performances even arise whether it be Kevin Hart winning multiple MVP’s, J Cole catching a lob and throwing down a dunk, or Mo’ne Davis putting defenders in the spin cycle.
Then, of course, Saturday is the competitions day. All of these are fun whether it be the skills competition, 3-point contest, or the dunk contest. Who doesn’t like seeing the top basketball players in the world go head to head against each other trying to become kings of their craft?
Finally, to wrap up the weekend is the NBA All-Star Game. Haters will say that this game is so boring because there’s no defense and nobody tries. Shut up, suck it up, and enjoy the game. How about you appreciate the insane dunks or shootouts between the two teams. See how players from other teams work together on the same team for a night. Look at how off the court friendships are shown throughout the game. Stop complaining and being so pessimistic and simply enjoy the game. Who cares if the game ends with both teams almost scoring 200 points each? That’s awesome! Too many people focus on complaining and not enough enjoy it. It’s sad and pathetic really.
The NBA is a league that is excellent at storytelling. Players’ personalities are on display every night and they are not afraid to tell it like it is. For example, with everything that went down with KD and the Thunder this past season, you could see Russ’ hatred towards his former friend. It was awesome to see just the pure emotion that he played with that night.
Players also are very active on social media and drop subtweets left and right *cough cough* LeBron. You love to see players act like such tough guys online and when they meet face to face, they act like nothing’s wrong. It’s ridiculous. Sometimes people go too far on social media which is always the best because they have to deal with it for the rest of the season. Just a group of grown men acting like middle schoolers.
Finally, the offseason is always dramatic, especially this season. Big name players moving teams, superstars speaking their true feelings on former teammates and coaches, and rookies playing with their new teams. No day in the offseason is boring.
I could go on and on about how much I love the NBA and how it is the best out of the major sports. I might even dedicate a podcast episode to it, who knows? So the next time you watch an NBA game, just think back to this article. Appreciate these freakish athletes doing unheard of things with a basketball. Listen to the crowd reactions and how the entire stadium erupts. In simpler terms, just enjoy yourself. Instead of looking what’s wrong with the NBA, just take it for what it is, the most entertaining sport there is today.
If you want to listen to a bunch of idiots ramble on about the NBA and just how awesome it is, then listen to my podcast Parkball Heroes on Soundcloud. If you want to listen to strictly Boston Celtics talk, listen to my other podcast Shamrock Shakedown on Soundcloud as well.