While it is an extremely biased statement, basketball is the best sport, and I strongly believe that. It is a game that perfectly meshes the defining factors of others and makes something new. It has a game that really is more than the sum of its parts, and that is why it has grown into arguably the second most popular sport in the world. It’s not Fortnite but it’s slowly taking over the globe, and this can be seen within the games growing importance to the public, it’s spread internationally, and exponential growth in the salary of the players, indicating their worth to the franchises they are affiliated with. It’s become so much more than its humble beginnings of peach baskets in a gym class and become something much greater than it was intended to be. So, I guess this is an ode of sorts, an ode to basketball, and all its greatness. Today I will analyze the attributes of basketball and how the combination of skills makes the sport something unique.
An emerging international phenomenon
Basketball at first glance is obviously athleticism based. The running and jumping are at a premium and is perhaps the ultimate test of athleticism and body awareness. It is easy to see the parallels between basketball and track and field events. From a vertical standpoint, it is high jump and sometimes even long jump wrapped up into one. A game of basketball is simultaneously a sprint, and marathon as well. Consider a gymnast who has to contort their body to execute difficult performances, basketball players have to do much of the same against the opposition. It is not the pure athletic sport of football, but it would not be a stretch to say basketball has some of the absolute most athletically gifted people on the planet.
While being tall, strong, and athletic sounds like the ideal gene pool for success, it is not the end all be all. You must also have good footwork, like a soccer player, basketball players must keep defenders guessing, and keeping them off balance opens opportunities for scoring. It is important to have good feet and overall coordination as basketball is a sport that moves very quickly. If you cannot you get left behind. Footwork is also important for defense and keeping the opposition in front of you in legal guarding position.
The game within the game
Basketball, almost more so than physical, is a mental game, that reminds me of chess in away. Basketball is 100% about thinking ahead and reacting to the moves of your opponents. It is about strategizing to exploit your opponent’s shortcomings and combining that with your own strengths to win. Does it get more chess than that? When you think about it, basketball is really a best two out of three contests, as are most chess competitions. Two halves, and a third albeit much shorter half to break the tie (see what I did?). This is mostly done by the coaches, the strategizing, and such, but a team that can communicate openly with its players to determine a correct course of action is very potent.
So now what?
Like previously mentioned basketball is not Fortnite, but it is moving up in the sports world. Its mainstream appeal is obvious as ratings have never been higher. (well at least they were before that real scary virus happened but my point stands) People all over the world, more people than ever before are fans of basketball these days. Occasionally there is that one person who describes the game as “throwing a ball through a hoop”. It’s okay, don’t get mad, show them this. Follow me on Twitter @thatboytyre10.