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Best Basketball Country Relative to Population

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Post#1 Best Basketball Country Relative to Populatio
Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:14 am by nyrangers08

I'd like some opinions on which country is the best at producing senior basketball teams relative to its population. Assume all players eligible to play for each country are available.

An example of what I mean by relative to population is this. USA's population is 6.67 times bigger than Spain's, so they would have to create 6 or 7 equally strong teams from all of their best players and use one of those teams to against Spain's national team. Or you can look at it as (6.67 = 3/20) USA only having a random 3 out of every 20 of their best players available to build a team from to go against Spain.

Similarly, Spain's population is 23 times larger than Slovenia's, so they would only have a random 1 out of every 20 of their best players available to build a team from to face Slovenia's national team.

Here are some of the candidates (I might be missing some):
USA ~307 million
Spain ~46 million
Argentina ~40.2 million
Greece ~11.3 million
Lithuania ~3.3 million
Serbia ~7.3 million
Slovenia ~2 million
Croatia ~4.4 million
France ~62.6 million
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Post#2 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:24 am by ralf_gevens

If we are judging them by creating basketball teams then

Lithuania=Ex-Yugoslavia countries > Spain= Greece

And its because those countries have the best method of creating teams and developing young players. Most players from those "schools" have good fundamentals and BB IQ which is exclusively product of coaching and training. If we took 10 same young players and let them develop and train in each of those countries, Lithuania and ex-Yu countries would almost certainly make the best team out of them.

If we are judging by creating great basketball players then USA >> all. Overall the level of individual talent is best in USA even when using the "per capita" metrics.
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Post#3 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:49 pm by nyrangers08

Thank you for your reply and I think you make some good points.

So, who would win if every country in the world had to create a team from a random sample of 2 million people in their population? Would USA win because, according to you, they still have the most talent or would the countries better at developing teams win?
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Post#4 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:07 pm by ralf_gevens

In that scenario Lithuania/ex-Yu wins hands down.
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Post#5 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:35 pm by nyrangers08

I'm not sure if I'm willing to say USA develops the most talent relative to population, either. Look at Slovenia, for example.

I would guess that there were about 400 Americans in the NBA last year and USA's population is 153.5 times larger than Slovenia's.

To match USA per capita, Slovenia would need 2 or 3 players in the NBA, which they have (Dragic, Ukic, Vujacic). In 2010, they actually had 5 NBA players (Brezec, Nesterovic).

I also don't think America has 153 times more players in the NCAA and Euroleague combined that could make the NBA than Slovenia has players in the Euroleague that could make the NBA (Nachbar, Nesterovic off the top of my head).

And, as you said, some of the other countries are just as impressive as Slovenia relative to population.

Or am I mistaken?
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Post#6 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:20 am by illyasova

Due to rating of the population and quality world stars, for sure lithuania and Serbia. But about raising players from different countries and adding them to their national teams wise, best teams are Spain and France. They discovered the importance of athletism. So France has advantage of it, spain just bring and raise them.
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Post#7 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:34 am by clockwork

Definitely Lithuania is top then Serbia. Loved ex-Yugoslavia talent that came out. If not for the split, I'd say their basketball programs would be top notch.
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Post#8 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:57 pm by giberish

Lithuania is the likely #1 by this. They have a very tall average population and are one of the few countries where basketball is the #1 sport.

Serbia/Croatia/Slovenia also would be high.

Smaller regions of larger countries could do very well if considered on their own.
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Post#9 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:46 pm by nyrangers08

Thanks for the replies and opinions.

No one here has mentioned Argentina yet. Argentina has got to be right up there with Spain, don't you think?
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Post#10 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:15 am by sorokii

You should take into account other aspects apart from population. e.g. in Spain the space in media for basketball or other sports is nearly marginal, 90% in football (soccer). The biggest daily sports magazine last for around 45 minutes, 43 of them (no exaggeration) is football, the other 2 is "rest of sports".
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Post#11 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:21 pm by nyrangers08

sorokii wrote:You should take into account other aspects apart from population. e.g. in Spain the space in media for basketball or other sports is nearly marginal, 90% in football (soccer). The biggest daily sports magazine last for around 45 minutes, 43 of them (no exaggeration) is football, the other 2 is "rest of sports".

Wow, I didn't realize basketball coverage was that bad in a country like Spain, especially when they have so many good basketball players.

I guess there are many factors that could be taken into consideration, such as amount of funding for basketball youth programs. But I decided to just take into account population size in this thread for simplicity sake.
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Post#12 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:50 pm by homewealth

Philippines. They are crazy bout' basketball.
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Post#13 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:39 pm by AdamTheGreek

Lithuania and Serbia top 2 with Greece 3rd for sure.
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Post#14 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:39 pm by Blame Turk

This question was derived from the answer itself. Why the need to ask it...
"I certainly can't have an opinion because David Stern, like a lot of leaders we've seen in this world lately, don't really tolerate other people's opinions or free speech or anything."
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Post#15 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:48 am by nyrangers08

Blame Turk wrote:This question was derived from the answer itself. Why the need to ask it...

Well, it is interesting to contemplate, isn't it? Instead of just asking which country is best at basketball, where the only real answer is USA, asking which country is best relative to its population makes it a very close debate. I guess there's no real point or way of proving anything.
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Post#16 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:38 pm by Blame Turk

Generally Slovenians and Lithuanians have this argument with Serbians. They are all close, but Serbia may be right after US in this respect.
"I certainly can't have an opinion because David Stern, like a lot of leaders we've seen in this world lately, don't really tolerate other people's opinions or free speech or anything."
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Post#17 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:39 pm by Red Star

Blame Turk wrote:Generally Slovenians and Lithuanians have this argument with Serbians. They are all close, but Serbia may be right after US in this respect.


+1 agreed
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Post#18 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Thu Sep 1, 2011 2:07 am by King d

I would say Lithuania, and Slovenia not too far from them
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Post#19 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:35 pm by dr. strangelove

sorokii wrote:You should take into account other aspects apart from population. e.g. in Spain the space in media for basketball or other sports is nearly marginal, 90% in football (soccer). The biggest daily sports magazine last for around 45 minutes, 43 of them (no exaggeration) is football, the other 2 is "rest of sports".

And in "rest of sports", as for tv audience, motorcycling and formula one are clearly ahead of basketball.
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Post#20 Re: Best Basketball Country Relative to Popul
Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:58 pm by MAURI

Lithuania and the Balkan countries..
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