Is the NBA Really Becoming "America's Game"??
Hmmm....a very interesting opinion piece was penned by NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the Guardian Newspaper which has raised more than a few eyebrows.
In the piece--Abdul Jabbar makes a very convincing case the NBA has or shortly will take over the mantle from the NFL as the game of interest for most American's.
And he may be right....
Not today. Not next week and probably not next year, but I can't argue with his reasoning. I've talked at length on this website about the problems the NFL faces and their inability to correctly address them.
Political infighting, an inability to get a handle on the violence and physical toll of the sport, over saturation of the game, exorbitant ticket prices and an immense distrust of the League Offices have all contributed to a decline in both attendance and TV audience.
Mind you the NBA is far....far from perfect and has its own issues---the biggest being stacked teams and "Superstars" who want to play together limiting competition, but you can't argue their TV audience continues to grow along with revenues.
The NFL is at a major crossroads in their existence---they just committed to pay almost $50 million a year for one man (Roger Goodell) to be their public figurehead and he arguably is the least popular person in the whole league. The billionaires who run teams continue extorting cities for billion dollar stadiums they don't want to pay for themselves and for the most part--a working class family of four can't afford to go to a game anymore.
But the NFL draws ratings---even with the decline--it's still the most popular thing on television. But the ratings decline is scary. For a number of reasons. The product is sometimes hard to watch. Very hard to watch. You've got teams like the Cleveland Browns who are just awful year in and year out and you've got guys like Trevor Simien of the Broncos and whomever is replacing Tom Savage at Quarterback for the Houston Texans on the field.
It's painful and often incredibly boring to watch.
The NBA has its issues too, stars try and rest during an interminably long regular season and playoffs drag on for three months. The broadcasts--particularly the local ones are long and dull and the games often feature matador defense and teams shooting 30% for the night.
Perhaps the biggest problem the NBA has: Teams tanking. You've got at least a half-dozen NBA teams who weren't competitive before the season started. They're not even trying to hide it. These teams are trying to jockey for top draft pick status and are just painful to watch.
The Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks are perhaps the two worst offenders and the played a game in November that had the Hawks winning---by 41 points and likely set creative basketball back centuries.
At the end of the day--there is no "Perfect" professional sport. But it's beginning to appear the NFL may have---to use a TV term "Jumped the Shark" a couple years ago. Will the NBA overtake the NFL in popularity? Maybe. Will it happen during your lifetime or mine---well, I don't really know, the jury is still out on that one.
But it's an interesting question.......