Basketball is among the most popular sports in the United States, as well as several other countries around the planet. Menos Hiras says that more than 200 basketball-playing nations compete against each other, and the title in Olympic basketball is among the biggest sports-related honors a nation can dream to achieve. The incredible popularity of basketball on the Olympic stage has provided a great boost to the overall exposure of this game. It currently is considered to be the second-most popular team sport in the world by many, just behind soccer.
A lot has changed in the global basketball landscape ever since the original Dream Team made its way to the Olympics and won a gold medal about two decades back. Menos Hiras mentions that this sport is now a fixture in almost all the countries around the world. NBA in fact boasts of having international players from beyond thirty different countries of the world. Over the years, the newly rebranded FIBA World Cup of Basketball has also gained quite a good level of popularity among sports fans.
There are a number of factors due to which people become interested in basketball. Here are some of them mentioned by Menos Hiras:
- Ease of play: Millions of people around the world significantly enjoy driving to the hoop. A huge reason for this is that basketball requires absolutely minimal equipment and participants. An individual shall only need a ball, a pair of gym shoes, a hoop, and passion for the game. They can simply dribble a ball out on any playground court and practice all by themselves. As another player shows up, the game can be changed into a competitive one.
- Exciting finishes: Competitive basketball can be incredibly exciting. As the game clock starts to tick during a close match, often the decision comes down to the very last shot. This is quite a frequent occurrence in basketball matches not only played at a professional level, but even the simple high school and college games. With so many dramatic finishes in basketball, it becomes easy for any person to end up becoming hardcore fans of the gamine.
Basketball has its roots in the 20th century, Springfield, Massachusetts. This game essentially was invented by James Naismith, who simply wanted to give students something to do during the winter months. This sport slowly began to spread in New England, as well as other parts of the United States, and ultimately beyond the borders. The United States dominated international competitions of the game for years, and had won several Olympic gold medals in it as well. However, after the United States suffered a controversial loss in the 1972 Olympics to the Soviet Union, the situation sparked an interest in the game around the world. While for decades Americans had celebrated the game of basketball, it is only after this match that many other countries also got motivated in building their own professional basketball teams.