NFL vs. MLB vs. NBA (NBA’s case)

In Sports on December 8, 2011 at 6:06 pm

by:  Eric Buenning (featuring Ben Latendresse)

Here we go, the final case is being made, this time for the NBA.  Let’s see if Ben Latendresse can convince you that his sport is the best.


The summer of 2001 is one that I look back on as a life-changing one. The big step from elementary to middle school was in sight, my feelings for the opposite sex suddenly took a 180°, and it was the last one before the whole world changed due to  the events that the following September. But there was one thing that really caught my attention, and that was basketball. Not only did I start to play somewhat competitively, but my hometown NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks, had a decent team and a decent season. In fact, they reached the semi-finals in the playoffs, and were only one game away from the NBA Finals. From then on, basketball and the NBA became woven into my DNA.

In order for people to love the NBA, just like in any professional sport, you have to love the game in itself. Basketball is the most entertaining sport not only to watch, due to its fast pace and high scoring, but also to play. The most accessible sport to Americans is basketball. Think about it: When have you ever had the ability to play an organized game of baseball, football, soccer, *insert sport here, at any given time? Not to mention playing a sport by yourself. For basketball, all you need is a ball and a hoop, of which one can be found in local parks and gyms. Odds are that there are others playing too, so it is easy to start a pick-up game. Other sports are in need of other equipment in order to participate in an organized game. Most grade schools, high schools, and universities have men’s and women’s basketball teams. Point being that basketball is the most relatable sport in America, and therefore the NBA creates an experience in which most fans have participated at various levels throughout their lifetime.

The NBA is comprised of the greatest talent in the four major American sports, just by sheer numbers. In the NFL, there are 53 players on each roster of the 32 teams. MLB allows 25 players on each roster of the 30 teams. 23 players are allowed on every one of the 30 NHL teams. In the NBA, only 15 players are allowed on each of the 30 teams’ rosters, and most of the time teams have less than that. Therefore, it is the most difficult league to get into. The NBA season is comprised of a grueling 82 game schedule, which you have to be at tip-top shape in order to endure and succeed through it, which brings me to my next point. Another requirement in the NBA is that you have to be, what I like to call, a “freak.” The need for height is all but required to play. This is not something that cannot be attained through hard work and practice, but is a God given attribute. Not to say that players in the NBA do not work hard to be the best they can (just because you’re tall doesn’t mean that you are automatically going to be a good basketball player), but most people in society are on the outs already because of their lack of height. Those that aren’t as tall as other players are the ones that do put incredible amounts of time in to work on their game to make sure they are able to compete with the other freaks in the league. No player in the NBA sucks, no matter how they perform in the game. Each possesses a freakish talent and ability that makes them unique and a contributor to their team and the league.

In recent years, the NBA has taken a shift in where they get their talent. Prior to the mid 90’s, most of the players were from the United States. Starting around that time, teams started to look abroad for talent, as basketball increased in popularity throughout the world.  The NBA has evolved into a very ethnically diverse league, something that other leagues have a hard time boasting about. One could make a strong argument that soccer is the world’s most popular sport, but for some reason it has not taken a strong grasp in the U.S., and does not have a superior professional league here. Slowly but surely, basketball is becoming the world’s number two sport. This talent comes from every continent (except Antarctica, of course). There have been numerous professional leagues started in different countries over the past 20 or so years. This is one of the reasons the NBA lockout took as long as it did, because players signed with teams in other leagues in different countries. However, there would have been a market no more prestigious than in the United States, where the sport was created and where fandom is (prior to the lockout) at an all time high.

After this recent lockout, we will definitely see whether the fan bases are loyal to their teams. I personally don’t see many people leaving the NBA entirely. If the lockout lasted any longer, many would have. The players and the owners would not have worked tirelessly to get a deal done if it wasn’t for the fan support from every team. These are the people of whom they earn their revenues, and of whom demand a great product. As a Bucks fan, it has been tough to stick with a team that has recently been on the loosing side for most of the past decade. One might ask why I have remained dedicated to them. Milwaukee is a hard working city. If players put forth equal effort and hard work night in and night out as the fans do, and provide the entertainment that they demand, then there is an equilibrium that cannot be matched by any sport. This is the philosophy that drives fans from all 30 teams, and is what will continue to keep the NBA the greatest professional sport in America.


So, which one do you think is best?? Vote below:

  1. NBA= boring and rigged 🙂

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