How popular is basketball and who are the best teams?

Considering how the Internet has ‘virtually’ brought all of the countries of the world together over the past couple of decades in terms of entertainment options, it’s interesting how certain sports or events still are heavily associated with certain countries. I’d definitely say that’s the case with baseball for instance as it’s largely played in and associated with the Unites States. ‘Only in America’ would a ‘World Series’ of a sport consist of just two countries (in this case the US and Canada). Another sport that is certainly very USA-centric despite often being played in schools and the like is Basketball.

As started, it’s commonplace for basketball (and for girls often netball) to be played by youth in various countries, but really it’s only in the United States that there such a clear pathway through to college and the pro leagues, culminating in the dizzying and lucrative heights of the NBA.The National Basketball Association league,was founded in 1946 and consists of 30 teams (including one Canadian team). Tickets for NBA games start at a low price but can go into the thousands of dollars for in-demand seats and games. Vast TV audiences tune in, and there is growing Chinese interest in watching basketball too (some 800 million viewers watched the 2017–18 season).

In terms of the teams to follow, in the history of basketball teams with the most championship wins, both Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are top of the pile with 17 NBA final wins a piece. There is a gulf between them and the third most wins team, the Golden State Warriors with 6 wins (shared with Chicago Bulls on 6 wins also, and San Antonio Spurs on 5 wins). Longevity is the name of the game with Los Angeles Lakers winning their first final in 1949 and most recent in 2020. Sports betting on basketball is ever popular too with basketball betting types like over / under (a certain number of points), HT /FT, Quarter betting and Asian Handicap bets being popular types of betting options.

Despite the sport being very US focused over the decades, that hasn’t stopped some of the big names of the sport from gaining fame on a worldwide scale. The likes of Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant (RIP), Dennis Rodman, the Harlem Globetrotters (whose entire point and intention was the spread the Basketball word) the list goes on. It speaks to the influence of basketball that we know these players by face and name even if we haven’t personally even seen them play!