Doctor MJ wrote: Dr Spaceman wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
It's hard to keep a bloodsport firing on all cylinders when your gladiators get rich and get at least some education about what their future holds if they keep playing. The NFL is in a rough place between this and the political hard place they got in with the president turning the fanbase against the athletes over the kneeling protest (something only possible with a conservative-dominant fanbase, which the NBA doesn't have).
I also think the NFL is going to get hit hard when the Brady-Rodgers generation actually calls it quits. The NFL has not been able to manufacture new stars in recent years so unless we get some super-dramatic breakthroughs soon, the league will also likely deteriorate here as well.
It's a good time to be the NBA. Funny now thinking back to the NBA 15 years ago when everything was a broken shell of its former self and the league seemed to be in a downward spiral and rookie LeBron truly felt like the potential savior ("Witness") we didn't really think could recapture the magic of Jordan. (And of course, he didn't, but he's been a driving force of new things we didn't predict.)
I feel like the big question going forward for the NBA is how it can monetize social media when television inevitably offers new contracts that reflect the fact that people aren't plopping down and watching games like they used to, and thus television ads likely aren't worth what they used to be worth for advertisers.
Basketball is a sleeping giant. I’d actually say on its current trajectory it’s poised to become the 2nd most popular sport in the world, and it’s popularity abroad may even eclipse its popularity domestically at some point. It’s growth internationally is going to be unprecedented in the coming years.
The hysteria around Giannis in Greece right now is alarming. Many people who had barely even heard of the sport are turning in to watch all of his games. He’s like Ronaldo for the Portuguese. I’ve met quite a lot of Europeans who do the same crazy things I do like waking up at 2 AM to watch playoff games. In countries like Serbia and the other former Yugoslav republics basketball is a way of life. I never in my wildest dreams thought I could strike up a casual conversation about Nemanja Bjelica, let alone in Europe, and yet here we are.
And we’re only beginning to scratch the surface of potential basketball talent in Africa. The next generation of kids from these countries could make up a significant percentage of the league. When NBA scouts start getting serious about searching for talent in Africa this thing is going to explode.
I wouldn’t be shocked if at some point 50% of NBA players are foreign-born. I don’t know what this means domestically but I do know that internationally this is not a fad. The NBA is sitting on a literal goldmine the level of which we probably haven’t ever seen in sports before.
Cool to hear about your experiences. Definitely encouraging.
I actually too quite hope for a vastly more international NBA than even now because that would probably mean more and more worldwide popularity along with better and better opportunity grooming.
It’s not a coincidence that this year’s MVP was from Greece, ROY was from Slovenia, DPOY was from France, and MIP was from Cameroon. That is 4 of the 5 major awards going to international players. It’s a sign of things to come.
The infrastructure is already set up for basketball to dominate globally. It has the second most professional leagues in the world after Futbol and international tournaments like FIBA, Olympics and Eurobasket. It’s the third most watched sport in the world and NBA teams are funding youth leagues and summer camps all over Africa and sending players there as well. The coming generation of Europeans will grow up with basketball being a mainstream sport which wasn’t true even ten years ago.
Even in Canada basketball is blowing up. There was a great Lowe Post podcast where two Toronto guys talked about how basketball fans were the “weird kids” when they were growing up, and now millions of people are behind the Raptors.
Basketball is having a moment right now.
It’s a weird position where basketball could be in 3rd place domestically but 2nd place or 1b globally. But if I were running the NBA I’d be investing heavily in international growth especially in emerging markets. That’s how the EPL is such a success even with only 30% native-born payers. I’d be worried less about domestic cable deals and far more about building out a streaming service to get more and more eyeballs on the sport. I think the rest will follow from that.