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Thread: Which is more highly regarded, WBC or Olympics?

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    Senior Member NorCal's Avatar
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    Default Which is more highly regarded, WBC or Olympics?

    Here in the U.S. we always hear that winning the World Championships is considered a higher honor than winning the Olympics in most countries.
    Is that true?

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    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCal View Post
    Here in the U.S. we always hear that winning the World Championships is considered a higher honor than winning the Olympics in most countries.
    Is that true?
    For some sports it is, like football, but I don't think it applies to basketball in most countries. What I do think is that the WC is unjustifiably underrated in the US
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    Administrator mvblair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikhardur View Post
    What I do think is that the WC is unjustifiably underrated in the US
    I think that it's finally become important here. There is a lot of media coverage these days. Most basketball sites are talking about it and there is more and more coverage in the wider sports media, including magazines and cable TV. It's become much bigger.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorCal
    Here in the U.S. we always hear that winning the World Championships is considered a higher honor than winning the Olympics in most countries.
    Is that true?
    Personally, I think both are equally important. It's basically the same tournament. I like which ever one is happening next.
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    Senior Member NorCal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikhardur View Post
    For some sports it is, like football, but I don't think it applies to basketball in most countries. What I do think is that the WC is unjustifiably underrated in the US
    I wholeheartedly agree, it is way underappreciated in the U.S. I've never understood why. Many casual basketball fans here don't even know it exists.

    I just always wondered because the line 'the WC are more important and thought higher of than the Olympics' is a standard line that you hear on almost every broadcast/tv commentary regarding this tourney.

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    Senior Member Alvertis4's Avatar
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    FIBA World Championship>>>> Olympics

    More teams, that says everything really.

    I prefer the Eurobasket to both. (if only we could add Brazil & Argentina to make it even more exciting)

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    Senior Member NorCal's Avatar
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    I understand why most of us hold the WC at the same or greater level than the Olympics but I was hoping some of you could speak to the general level of interest amongst basketball fans in your country- is it held at the same level as the Olympics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvertis4 View Post
    FIBA World Championship>>>> Olympics

    More teams, that says everything really.

    I prefer the Eurobasket to both. (if only we could add Brazil & Argentina to make it even more exciting)
    Olympics >> FIBA World Championship

    Look at the number of players who skipped this tournament who would never skip the Olympics, and not only in the US team.

    And, at least here in Spain, bbll in the Olympics have a lot more attention from the casual fans than the WC also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbenga View Post
    Olympics >> FIBA World Championship

    Look at the number of players who skipped this tournament who would never skip the Olympics, and not only in the US team.
    Exactly, top players are skipping the WC in order to make sure they can play in Olympic qualifying.

    Of course, there are some countries whose chances of qualifying for the Olympics are not that good and so they have to focus on the WC.
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    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbenga View Post
    Olympics >> FIBA World Championship

    Look at the number of players who skipped this tournament who would never skip the Olympics, and not only in the US team.

    And, at least here in Spain, bbll in the Olympics have a lot more attention from the casual fans than the WC also.
    The same goes for Lithuania. Olympics is way ahead of WC, the same goes for Eurobasket before Olympics


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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCal View Post
    Here in the U.S. we always hear that winning the World Championships is considered a higher honor than winning the Olympics in most countries.
    Is that true?
    I guess it depends on the country. For example, In Spain we consider the Olympics over the World Championships, but not for a big margin (meaning it's not like the USA).

    Lithuania for example, seems closer to the USA vision. They always send their best teams to the Eurobaskets that qualify for the Olympics. They don't seem to care that much for the World Championship.

    For Serbians it could be very different. They have a great history at the World Championships and they might see them as more important than the Olympics, but I'm not sure.

    In general I think countries around the world usually consider Olympics over World Championships, but not by a big margin.

    Players skipping this tournament should be a significant sign, although we have to be careful evaluating the absences. If we focus on the favourites, Gasol skips the tournament because he has already won a WC (same reason why he played the last Eurobasket), Papaloukas has probably retired from NT, Serbia and Brazil aren't missing anybody, and Ginobili is the one that clearly tells you that Olympics are more valued than WC in Argentina as well.

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    Senior Member asdzas's Avatar
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    Here in Brazil both are very important. Brazil is a former world champion so they always want to do well in every WC, specially after the awfull position they finished in the last one. But the Olympics are a little more important, much more because of the Olympics games itself.

    It's not like football where the Olympics games are just patetic. U-23 teams. Of course everybody wants to win, we always go there to win, but it's A LOT less important than the WC.

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    Senior Member sinobball's Avatar
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    I think this fact holds:

    Olympic Women's Basketball Attendance >>>>> WBC Men's Basketball Attendance
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    More fans, from around the world, attended the 2006 WC than the 2008 Olympics. I don't have anything to back that up except for what I saw on TV in 2006. Vividly, I remember seeing more Spanish fans in attendance for Final than I did in Beijing final which only had Spanish athletes. The same goes for the Greek fans. Maybe 10 years ago, the Olympics was the most regarded throughout the world. But as times have changed and more teams are competing, I think the WC and Olympics have close to equal significance.

    All that said, I still believe FIBA holds the Olympics as the premier tournament in the world. They provide more coverage and promotion for the Olympics than the WC. They've lengthen the duration of the Olympics with three days between games, while WC has games happening almost every day. And lastly, they're planning on increasing participating teams to 16 for Olympics. This shows they're more concerned with raising the quality of the Olympics at the expense of the WC, which a lot of players are skipping out on.

    As much as I would like to see the WC gain prestige like the FIFA World Cup, I don't think it will given the current position of FIBA and their preference for the Olympics.
    Last edited by Franz; 08-13-2010 at 04:42 PM.

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    The aura of whole Olympics contribute a lot to the basketball competition imo. The enthusiasm and excitement caused/started by other sports just culminates with basketball. Plus, with less number of teams, the competition is on a higher level at least perceptionally than a world cup game, which is a single event and has to ignite itself.

    As for Turkish public, i believe it's the Olympics, even though we have never been able to participate. But WBC is close, as we managed to take part in the last 3 cups somehow.
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    Senior Member sinobball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franz View Post
    More fans, from around the world, attended the 2006 WC than the 2008 Olympics. I don't have anything to back that up except for what I saw on TV in 2006. Vividly, I remember seeing more Spanish fans in attendance for Final than I did in Beijing final which only had Spanish athletes. The same goes for the Greek fans.
    I think this only illustrates that attendance for WBC is a lot poorer -- the Spanish fans couldn't get Finals ticket in Beijing because they were sold out quickly. Such is not the case for WBC finals.


    World Championship (2002)


    Olympics Women (2008)

    Certainly this may not be scientific, but you get the idea.
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    Senior Member saalsapr's Avatar
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    For the players, especially the ones that play in the United States, the Olympics are more important.

    When the Olympic starts, basketball is the most awaited team sport, and the biggest stars of all countries participate. You almost hear nothing about soccer or baseball, etc, but everyone goes cucco when Yao Ming takes on the USA, even if the end result is a blowout.

    The main problem for this is the huge gap between 1st place and 24th place

    Its like an expected blowout everytime.

    In the Olympics, only 12 teams compete, and because its usually the 11 best in the world, with the 12th team usually being the crappy host, the games are closer and more enjoyable to watch.
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    Senior Member sinobball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saalsapr View Post
    In the Olympics, only 12 teams compete, and because its usually the 11 best in the world, with the 12th team usually being the crappy host, the games are closer and more enjoyable to watch.
    I can't remember the host ever finishing 12th, maybe you are predicting 2012?
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    Senior Member Alyosha12's Avatar
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    As a fan i look more forward to the WC because its a competition with more top teams, and there are more great games to watch.

    IMO the fact that these two competitions are virtually the same except that the OG feature less great teams takes a lot of emphasis from one another. OG are less important and WC is less important. No competition gains anything from the other one existing.

    IMO there should only be one, and that one should be the WC because its strictly a basketball competition and the OG are a a multisport competition. Basketball should be U23 or something like soccer at the OG.

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    Senior Member Franz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinobball View Post
    I think this only illustrates that attendance for WBC is a lot poorer -- the Spanish fans couldn't get Finals ticket in Beijing because they were sold out quickly. Such is not the case for WBC finals.


    World Championship (2002)


    Olympics Women (2008)
    No, this only illustrates that attendance (awareness) for the WC has been improving. The 2002 WC was held in Indianapolis, where basketball is pretty popular. But the attendance was atrocious, not only for the final but the whole tournament. In 2006, the WC was held in Japan where in spite of basketball's unpopularity, attendance was surprisingly better.

    Quote Originally Posted by sinobball View Post
    Such is not the case for WBC finals.
    If this is the case, then why such a huge turnout in 2006 final? If people could careless about WC, then why did so many Spanish fans come to Japan? Greek? Japanese who have baseball to watch?

    I think you're afraid to admit that WC may actually have significance to the world (not more or less than the Olympics).

    Quote Originally Posted by sinobball View Post
    Certainly this may not be scientific, but you get the idea.
    The only idea I get is that the WC is considered by many Olympic enthusiasts as a second tier tournament. It seems you're one of those people.
    Last edited by Franz; 08-13-2010 at 06:26 PM.

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    Senior Member Alvertis4's Avatar
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    Players "skip" the WC because of the NBA really.

    Americans don't care about anything else other than the Olympics, so they do not allow their players to go to this one.

    Dirk Nowitzki?
    Tony Parker?
    Manu Ginobili?
    Andrei Kirilenko?

    As a result, players like Kaman don't attend as they don't want to be "tortured". Germany without Nowitzki, Kaman or not, sucks. So Cuban ruined Germany's chances of a decent run in the tournament, Germans won't care much.

    France could have been a contender if they had their stars. Half of them were not allowed to come, the rest decided not to go as it won't be the same. Am I saying something wrong here?

    Look at the USA. Bron, Melo, Wade, Kobe, Howard all decided not to go. Chris Paul and DWill were supposed to go, same with Amare. First two didn't want to go as the rest of the crew didn't join, and Amare changed his mind or was forced by the Knicks who invested $100m on him not to go.

    It's not the players' choice not to attend, it's their NBA teams that force them not to go.

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