Basketball is extremely popular worldwide and has been considered one of the fastest-growing sports in recent years. With hundreds of millions of fans in every country and the launch of new leagues, it is the second most popular sport in the whole world. Although Basketball is often given less importance than other sports like football, it is still a very famous sport, and today we will have a look at the countries where the sport is played and adopted the most.
Wherever there is talk about basketball, you will definitely hear the wordNBA, which is the most popular league in basketball. The NBA is the official league of American basketball. The United States is the country where this sport originated, so it is no surprise that it is most popular here. Basketball is one of the four major sports in America after baseball, American football, and hockey. There are many major leagues, like the NBA and college leagues, here. In addition to the leagues, many people hear about the sport through athletes. Several basketball players have sponsorship deals with some of the biggest brands in the world.
In Canada, the popularity of Basketball just keeps going, with millions of fans following the game every year. The sport started gaining more popularity here when the Toronto Raptors became the first non-US team to win an NBA championship in 2019. Basketball is particularly popular here at the college level. The parts of Canada like Alberta, southern Ontario, and Nova Scotia are the places where most college and high school teams are, which is why the popularity here is the highest. A fact that very few people know is that although Basketball was invented in the USA, the creator of the sport, James Naismith, was actually a Canadian.
Basketball in Argentina is a sport that was very popular not so long ago. It was only after the Argentina national team won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics that basketball began to grow in popularity. Since then, basketball has been one of the most popular sports in Argentina. The official Argentinian league is called ‘Liga Nacional’, which was founded in 1985. Several famous Argentinian players have made it to the NBA, most notably Manu Ginobili, who won the NBA championship four times with the San Antonio Spurs.
Basketball is a very popular sport in Australia, and it is estimated that 1 in 3 Australians loves basketball, and about one million of them play it too. Basketball is the second most popular sport in their country when it comes to team sports and participation. It was widely popular in the country during the 80s and 90s, but its popularity declined significantly during the turn of the century. After a few years, it started to slowly regain its popularity, and now you can find many Australian players who have made it to the NBA, leading to a resurgence of interest. Despite a sudden decline many years ago, the sport is still interesting for Australians.
There are Many Chinese people who enjoy Basketball. They are huge fans of the sport, especially the American Basketball League and its All-Stars. Indeed, the NBA is one of the most popular sports leagues in China. The popularity of the sport just keeps increasing with each passing year. The Chinese Basketball Association, which is equivalent to the NBA, estimates that about 500 million Chinese people play basketball. In the early 2000s, when former Chinese player Yao Ming played his first ever NBA game with the Houston Rockets, nearly 200 million Chinese watched that game.
When there is talk about sports in Spain, “Football” comes to mind, not basketball, but the truth is that Basketball is also a famous sport in Spain. Particularly because of the NBA star from this country, Pau Gasol, who is also one of the best ambassadors of Spanish basketball. The former has also won two NBA championships during his career. Gasol is the reason that basketball gets a lot of attention in the country. The Spanish basketball league and Liga ACB are also reasons for Basketball’s popularity in the country.
You will be amazed to know that Basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines. The country totally loves the game and enjoys it. Basketball is played here at both the recreational and professional levels. When the sport was introduced by America in the early 20th century, it was also highly popularized by them, and the Filipinos easily became fans of the sport. The Philippine Basketball Association was founded in 1975 and became the first professional basketball league in Asia as well as one of the oldest in the world. In 1954, when their Men’s national team finished third in the FIBA World Cup, they made history as it was one of the best results achieved by an Asian country in the World Cup.
Despite not being among the top sports in the country, Basketball is played and followed by many French people. From 1980 on, French television began showing NBA games, which started a significant increase in the popularity of the sport. Slowly, Basketball also began to become part of French pop culture, being incorporated into sneakers and music, which eventually saw a rise in the popularity of the sport. In recent years, France has seen good success in international games, marking a new era for French basketball. The French team has won many titles and also made it to the podium at the FIBA World Cup. Their women’s national team is also among the most prosperous nations in the EuroBasket Women’s League.