what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe

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what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#1 » by falcolombardi » Wed Apr 6, 2022 3:22 pm

i always thought basketball was somethingh that should have thrived in europe more than it didnt

any thoughts why?
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#2 » by mabundo_nagumbe » Fri Apr 8, 2022 11:35 am

falcolombardi wrote:i always thought basketball was somethingh that should have thrived in europe more than it didnt

any thoughts why?


an abundance of other popular sports, and very distinct traditional and national cultures, and sports.

Soccer is by far the biggest sport in Europe and can't be compared in popularity to anything. Basketball is generally second, but there is a fairly inequal distribution of both popularity, talent and player development in leagues across Europe. Spain, France, ex-yu areas, Turkey, Russia, Lithuania and increasingly Germany, and decreasingly Italy have all of the above, but then you have big Nations with subpar leagues. GB, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Benelux and a big chunk of south and east europe along with Portugal just don't have a tradition of having good and popularized basketball cultures.

Instead, they popularize handball, volleyball, waterpolo, cycling... winter sports are extremely popular in Norway, Switzerland and Austria, as well as Slovenia. GB is also has rugby.

Another problem is that the majority of big names in Europe tend to go to the nba, which makes domestic and Euro-international leagues less attractive for causal fans. Media coverage is another problem, Europe doesn't have transnational TV channels that would be similar to ESPN that would have endless discussions about most popular players. Instead, you have Eurosport that doesn nothing except broadcast, and an enormous amount of national TV channels that don't focus on a single team in a particular country, but cover entire leagues. And there are enormous amounts of league divisions that Americans probably never heard about, but they all have their dispersed fanbases

But slowly, the culture is improving. I'm originally Slovenian, and while bball was always big here, its popularity increased significantly since we won Eurobasket in 2017 and basically since Luka. It might even be #1 sport in Slovenia right now. For the past three years, I live in Denmark, and the basketball culture here is virtually non existent, but recent signing of Gabriel Lundberg to Suns did gain some attention in the media, so maybe there is some hope. But Denmark is a football and hanball nation, cycling as well, and I don't think this is going to change anytime soon.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#3 » by bravor » Fri Jun 10, 2022 6:33 pm

Rugby wise, you can make a difference between rugby at 15 and at 7 (and there are more, 13 etc). But you pretty much nailed it.
To put in perspective the situation for France, budget wise, our elite rugby teams have budgets in the 25/35M€ range (highest around 40) while the average elite bball teams have around 6M (and around 2M€ for salaries, players and coaches).

Basketball was probably stronger in Europe back in the 90ies/early 2000, but since then many countries have been 'vampirized' by the nba (social networks did not help, esp. youtube and alike).

Another issue for minor leagues being that they are striped from their best local players who leave for better contracts elsewhere (inc. overseas).
Rules are not the same as well (rules for local vs foreigners, prospects in the lines up or not, etc). Some league (like the belgium league) are pretty much open bar for the players with bosman/cotonus passports.
The bosman ruling played a role in the collapse of our local leagues (not saying its the only reason), at least the weakest ones or the ones that were targeted by the nba, market wise.

Like mabundo_nagumbe said, many countries have their own fav sport but only the lithuanian and the georgian have basketball as their favorite sport to my knowledge
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#4 » by Apz » Thu Aug 4, 2022 12:21 pm

bravor wrote:Rugby wise, you can make a difference between rugby at 15 and at 7 (and there are more, 13 etc). But you pretty much nailed it.
To put in perspective the situation for France, budget wise, our elite rugby teams have budgets in the 25/35M€ range (highest around 40) while the average elite bball teams have around 6M (and around 2M€ for salaries, players and coaches).

Basketball was probably stronger in Europe back in the 90ies/early 2000, but since then many countries have been 'vampirized' by the nba (social networks did not help, esp. youtube and alike).

Another issue for minor leagues being that they are striped from their best local players who leave for better contracts elsewhere (inc. overseas).
Rules are not the same as well (rules for local vs foreigners, prospects in the lines up or not, etc). Some league (like the belgium league) are pretty much open bar for the players with bosman/cotonus passports.
The bosman ruling played a role in the collapse of our local leagues (not saying its the only reason), at least the weakest ones or the ones that were targeted by the nba, market wise.

Like mabundo_nagumbe said, many countries have their own fav sport but only the lithuanian and the georgian have basketball as their favorite sport to my knowledge


I remember when the bosman ruling came. I thought soccer would die. Well, it didnt. Now I kinda cant understand how rules could be allowed before, just like i cant understand how draft/control rules can ba alloeed in US, north korea would be one thing, but in the west?

Before bosman it was insane tho. Just look at rules together with lrague rules. Milan bought players just so vompetition couldnt have them, and themselves couldnt play them due internatuonal players rule. Was so bad that they had to keep top 5 attackers in the world out of the squad. And it was like nba, but worse. A club vould sell a player, but even if his contract ended he could not leave to play elsewhere. So yes, the clubs lost lots of power but it really it really was modern day slavery pretty much
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#5 » by THE J0KER » Thu Aug 4, 2022 4:25 pm

Just about 10 out of the World's TOP250 players are playing in Europe, and nearly all current TOP25 European players are playing in NBA, so it is actually some kind of success for European club competitions to stay as the #2 popular team sport in Europe, ahead volleyball, both rugbies, ice hockey, handball...

I think the next big step is possible with further technological improvement of commercial supersonic airplanes which will fly from the USA East Coast to Europe in less than 4 hours. That will make it possible of creating NBA "international" division around 2035. Toronto is already one non-USA team, the other 5 I guess will be Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, at least one from the East (Athens, Istanbul, or even Moscow if some political changes happen in Russia in the meantime), and if only one is picked from the east the last ones will be I guess Berlin or Milan.

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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#6 » by Dr Aki » Fri Aug 5, 2022 7:11 pm

Basketball, with the exception of a very (relatively) few very talented athletes, is a big person sport

A VERY BIG PERSON sport

We're talking 12% of the world population is > 6' or taller, probably 3% is >6'6", probably 0.5% > 6'9", of which, a smaller miniscule % of those 12/3/0.5% are fluid athletes, instead of gangly beanpoles, even smaller when you're talking about athletes that have enough skill to play basketball at a high level (or chose to play basketball instead of another sport)

You want to know why basketball hasn't taken over Europe? It's because normal people can't relate the same as they can "normal"-sized football players, or rugby, or handball, or cycling
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#7 » by CharityStripe34 » Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:33 pm

Basketball is still pretty famous in Europe and I would say the second most famous sport.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#8 » by Apz » Sat Aug 20, 2022 12:41 pm

Not sure its 2nd. Pretty sure one of the reasons is that the rules are so girly, and the rulings isnt the same from player to player
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#9 » by CharityStripe34 » Sat Aug 20, 2022 1:33 pm

What would be second? Formula 1? Tennis? Skiing?
"Wes, Hill, Ibaka, Allen, Nwora, Brook, Pat, Ingles, Khris are all slow-mo, injury prone ... a sandcastle waiting for playoff wave to get wrecked. A castle with no long-range archers... is destined to fall. That is all I have to say."-- FOTIS
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#10 » by triple_sec » Fri Sep 2, 2022 10:45 am

mabundo_nagumbe wrote:
falcolombardi wrote:i always thought basketball was somethingh that should have thrived in europe more than it didnt

any thoughts why?


an abundance of other popular sports, and very distinct traditional and national cultures, and sports.

Soccer is by far the biggest sport in Europe and can't be compared in popularity to anything. Basketball is generally second, but there is a fairly inequal distribution of both popularity, talent and player development in leagues across Europe. Spain, France, ex-yu areas, Turkey, Russia, Lithuania and increasingly Germany, and decreasingly Italy have all of the above, but then you have big Nations with subpar leagues. GB, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Benelux and a big chunk of south and east europe along with Portugal just don't have a tradition of having good and popularized basketball cultures.

Instead, they popularize handball, volleyball, waterpolo, cycling... winter sports are extremely popular in Norway, Switzerland and Austria, as well as Slovenia. GB is also has rugby.

Another problem is that the majority of big names in Europe tend to go to the nba, which makes domestic and Euro-international leagues less attractive for causal fans. Media coverage is another problem, Europe doesn't have transnational TV channels that would be similar to ESPN that would have endless discussions about most popular players. Instead, you have Eurosport that doesn nothing except broadcast, and an enormous amount of national TV channels that don't focus on a single team in a particular country, but cover entire leagues. And there are enormous amounts of league divisions that Americans probably never heard about, but they all have their dispersed fanbases

But slowly, the culture is improving. I'm originally Slovenian, and while bball was always big here, its popularity increased significantly since we won Eurobasket in 2017 and basically since Luka. It might even be #1 sport in Slovenia right now. For the past three years, I live in Denmark, and the basketball culture here is virtually non existent, but recent signing of Gabriel Lundberg to Suns did gain some attention in the media, so maybe there is some hope. But Denmark is a football and hanball nation, cycling as well, and I don't think this is going to change anytime soon.



Nicely put, I would change some details but I guess that varies from country to country across Europe.

Actually in the 80s-90s-early 00s basketball was clearly no.2 in the Mediterranean, the Balkans and some other areas.

It has been decreasing since then in the aforementioned traditional "strongholds"; in the same time gaining popularity in previously not so interested audiences (Germany, Poland, Russia) mainly through the enhancement of their leagues and the organisation of big inernational events (Eurobasket finals / Euroleague Final-4) in their soil.



CharityStripe34 wrote:Basketball is still pretty famous in Europe and I would say the second most famous sport.


Empirically I would say

- 1st most popular in Lithuania and perhaps Israel

- 2nd no questions asked in Greece, Turkey and some areas of Italy like Bologna (decreasingly as pointed out by fellow members)

- Surprisingly I have the impression it is not the second anymore in ex-Yugoslavia countries, not even Serbia (Novak effect), perhaps only in Slovenia (Luka effect). I would appreciate some Croatian input here.

- Definitely not the second, but pretty high and popular in Spain, France, Russia, the Baltics and as said above increasingly in Germany, Czech Republic and Poland.

- Far below the 6th or 7th place of popularity in pretty much the rest of our little continent: the Nordics, Benelux, UK & Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia etc.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#11 » by lambchop » Mon Nov 7, 2022 10:57 am

triple_sec wrote:
It has been decreasing since then in the aforementioned traditional "strongholds"; in the same time gaining popularity in previously not so interested audiences (Germany, Poland, Russia) mainly through the enhancement of their leagues and the organisation of big inernational events (Eurobasket finals / Euroleague Final-4) in their soil.



CharityStripe34 wrote:Basketball is still pretty famous in Europe and I would say the second most famous sport.


Empirically I would say

- Definitely not the second, but pretty high and popular in Spain, France, Russia, the Baltics and as said above increasingly in Germany, Czech Republic and Poland.



What would you say is number 2 in Spain? I think basketball is definitely the 2nd most popular sport among those that are actually physically capable of playing basketball (ages 8 to 40). However, in Spain a lot of people play multiple sports AND they don't stop doing sports once they get married or get a job or are "old". A lot of guys start playing padel or tennis or do swimming once they stop playing team sports. So you essentially have older guys and some younger guys playing things like padel, which really increases the games popularity and relevance especially statistically. While in other countries guys in their 40s and 50s wouldn't be included in any sports statistics cause all they're doing, if anything, is going to the gym or jogging.

As for Germany, the popularity has increased there because domestic teams are forced to have at least 6 German players on their active roster. That means domestic players become more relevant and actually get to develop. That's why there are also more German NBA players nowadays and even German dudes playing abroad in other countries and getting good minutes. That rule change also increased player salaries and means more guys can go pro now, which makes it more a more enticing career option than just playing for love of the game.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#12 » by kaansunman » Fri Nov 18, 2022 3:23 pm

There are lots of reasons but the most important two reasonss are:

- One of the biggest problem is the lack of a giant organization like NBA. The conflict of interest between FIBA and Euroleauge decreases the value of both organizations. The income is not comparable with USA (TV rights, sponsorships etc.)
- US' great educational system and NBA's scouting. Great European players are going to US for high school / college without playing pro ball in Eruope such as Sabonis (Gonzaga), Giannis, Jokic, Porzingis... (these players played pro ball in Europe but not in the main stage, they are discovered and enter the NBA just before 20 years of age.) We were lucky enough to watch Doncic between 16-19 beacuse he was playing for Euro giant Real Madrid. Eurolague is becoming the league of NBA dropouts.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#13 » by NuggetsWY » Tue Apr 4, 2023 8:53 pm

kaansunman wrote:There are lots of reasons but the most important two reasonss are:

- One of the biggest problem is the lack of a giant organization like NBA. The conflict of interest between FIBA and Euroleauge decreases the value of both organizations. The income is not comparable with USA (TV rights, sponsorships etc.)
- US' great educational system and NBA's scouting. Great European players are going to US for high school / college without playing pro ball in Eruope such as Sabonis (Gonzaga), Giannis, Jokic, Porzingis... (these players played pro ball in Europe but not in the main stage, they are discovered and enter the NBA just before 20 years of age.) We were lucky enough to watch Doncic between 16-19 beacuse he was playing for Euro giant Real Madrid. Eurolague is becoming the league of NBA dropouts.

Good assessment and the first statement is the basis of the rest IMO.
One of the biggest problem is the lack of a giant organization like NBA. The conflict of interest between FIBA and Euroleauge decreases the value of both organizations.

Perhaps if FIBA & Euroleague had merged long ago, TV revenue would have helped, but probably still might not have been enough. With those two leagues merged, I suspect their educational system would have been fantastic. Many Europlayers develop much younger than NBA players even today. (My opinion of course)
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#14 » by twyzted » Fri May 19, 2023 11:51 pm

I would say that overall the local basketball league is #2 over here.
And basketball overall #2.
But euro league ionly recently stated to be broadcasted in tv.
but the finals draws more crowd over the football league, one game sold out in 1 minute, other 6 mins, so around 2500 tickets which is big for a country of 350k people, for the game that was game5 last night they said they couldve sold 20k tickets.

My hometown team sold 1000 tickets for that game, 3000 people live there.
Every home game also sells 1000 tickets, and they could sell more if the capacity was bigger.
Away team gets 30% of tickets.
So in terms of basketball it would be local league>nba>>>euro league.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#15 » by THE J0KER » Sat May 20, 2023 4:47 am

twyzted wrote:I would say that overall the local basketball league is #2 over here.
And basketball overall #2.
But euro league ionly recently stated to be broadcasted in tv.
but the finals draws more crowd over the football league, one game sold out in 1 minute, other 6 mins, so around 2500 tickets which is big for a country of 350k people, for the game that was game5 last night they said they couldve sold 20k tickets...

Are you from Iceland? If yes, I'm surprised to hear that basketball is #2 sport there by popularity, not handball.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#16 » by twyzted » Sat May 20, 2023 3:31 pm

THE J0KER wrote:
twyzted wrote:I would say that overall the local basketball league is #2 over here.
And basketball overall #2.
But euro league ionly recently stated to be broadcasted in tv.
but the finals draws more crowd over the football league, one game sold out in 1 minute, other 6 mins, so around 2500 tickets which is big for a country of 350k people, for the game that was game5 last night they said they couldve sold 20k tickets...

Are you from Iceland? If yes, I'm surprised to hear that basketball is #2 sport there by popularity, not handball.


Yes im from iceland, the finals series in handball started today and the attendance was 700, im not sure what the capacity of the arena is but the basketball playoffs and finals had more hype.
I dont remember such hype for anything sports related outside of our national teams. Everyone wanted tickets to the games, facebook groups were flooded with people looking for tickets.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#17 » by Stribor » Sun Jun 11, 2023 10:49 am

mabundo_nagumbe wrote:

Another problem is that the majority of big names in Europe tend to go to the nba, which makes domestic and Euro-international leagues less attractive for causal fans. Media coverage is another problem, Europe doesn't have transnational TV channels that would be similar to ESPN that would have endless discussions about most popular players. Instead, you have Eurosport that doesn nothing except broadcast, and an enormous amount of national TV channels that don't focus on a single team in a particular country, but cover entire leagues. And there are enormous amounts of league divisions that Americans probably never heard about, but they all have their dispersed fanbases



Bolded is the key. Football, Handball, Rugby, all the best players are in Europe. For Basketball it is not the case.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#18 » by LewisnotMiller » Tue Jun 20, 2023 12:02 pm

Stribor wrote:
mabundo_nagumbe wrote:

Another problem is that the majority of big names in Europe tend to go to the nba, which makes domestic and Euro-international leagues less attractive for causal fans. Media coverage is another problem, Europe doesn't have transnational TV channels that would be similar to ESPN that would have endless discussions about most popular players. Instead, you have Eurosport that doesn nothing except broadcast, and an enormous amount of national TV channels that don't focus on a single team in a particular country, but cover entire leagues. And there are enormous amounts of league divisions that Americans probably never heard about, but they all have their dispersed fanbases



Bolded is the key. Football, Handball, Rugby, all the best players are in Europe. For Basketball it is not the case.


Hmm...I wouldn't say all the best Rugby players are in Europe. I think it's more about the strength of the leagues as a whole.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#19 » by KGtabake » Wed Jul 26, 2023 10:57 pm

Soccer.
Europe only cares about soccer.
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Re: what stopped basketball from being a bigger deal in europe 

Post#20 » by Hans1984 » Sat Jul 29, 2023 9:35 am

soccer

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