Why basketball is America’s next pastime

By Nate Smith | Broadcast Reporter

Sports play a major role in lives on virtually every corner of the globe. Whether you prefer football, baseball, soccer or hockey, chances are your favorite sports league is trying to model itself after the NBA.

Baseball is as American as apple pie and pickup trucks, so it’ll always have a place in our culture. The Super Bowl draws television ratings essentially unparalleled by any programming, regardless of genre. Despite all of this, basketball is our generation’s most popular game.

The modern sports world is as much about marketability as it is wins and losses, and the NBA is king when it comes to sports marketing. Think about some of the biggest stars in the American sports world. Surely names such as Michael Jordan, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Tom Brady and J.J Watt come to mind.

These athletes are all among the biggest, if not the biggest, names in their respective sports. However, some of them are ingrained in popular culture in nearly every way imaginable, and the others aren’t in the NBA.

If you’re an Amy Schumer fan and made your way to the theaters in the summer of 2015 to see “Trainwreck,” you were greeted with a healthy dose of LeBron James, who starred as an exaggerated version of himself in the film and was considered by many to have turned in one of the funniest performances in a cast that was chock full of comedians.

If you turn on your TV and flip it to your favorite sports channel, they’re probably talking about the NBA, even if it is mid August. When it comes to the NBA, it’s not just the games that dominate the headlines, it’s the snarky subtweet Kevin Durant left in response to reporter Chris Brussard’s comments on their relationship, or the fact that Durant once had burner Twitter accounts that he used to defend himself against his online critics under a different name.

Maybe you’re like me and like to start your mornings by opening up Twitter so you can get a pulse on what was going on in the world while you were asleep. If so, you’re certainly bombarded with highlights from James Harden’s 50-point game that took place on the West Coast the night before.

It’s also incredibly likely that hot takes from your friends that are so-called basketball experts have also crept into your timeline, even if you don’t like basketball. Even something as menial as a Nike releasing a new Colorway for LeBron James’s latest shoe will generate more Twitter buzz than whatever crazy thing Patrick Mahomes did last Sunday.

Instances such as these prove that as far as social media interaction and embracing what the newest generations of Americans like, the NBA is king. And, if there is one thing that modern America values, it’s a sports league that can satisfy all of their entertainment needs. If leagues such as the NFL and MLB aren’t careful, they could be looking up to the throne instead of down from it.