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Thread: Is basketball declining as a sport?

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    Senior Member Alvertis4's Avatar
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    Default Is basketball declining as a sport?

    Genuine question. I don't see the same hype as before in various media outlets across the world (okay, I'm limited to a few languages obviously). There are less star players, less people at games and players move to the NBA way too soon (either from US high schools or from the rest of the world) and there are lots of 'unfinished', undeveloped players everywhere. In the NBA, the lack of fundamental play is obvious. In Europe, there's a lack of domestic star players as most migrate across the Atlantic before they are ready and those who stay are not of the top level. Not many creative players either but I think that's because of the youth academies at a very young age. More evident with football imo.

    So basically, is the level of basketball we're witnessing become worse? And do people switch off from basketball with more ease than before? To be honest, I haven't felt the urge to follow this World Cup a lot. Watched 2 Greece games and watched total of 6 games even if I wanted to catch some of the games. It's not that I had other things to do, I just opted not to watch them. As a neutral, it doesn't give me the same thrill it did before.

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    Senior Member Dtown's Avatar
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    In terms of ratings, attendance, player participation numbers, basketball's probably more healthy than it's been in the last decade for the United States.

    Though I have to ask in regards to your own interest is it perhaps because from 98-2006 the tournament was more open? Rather than perhaps the talent involved?
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    1. No
    2. I don't think it's getting better either. The non-US teams haven't progressed in the last decade.
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    As much as I know basketball is actually in rise as a sport. But it's at the top of the hill right now if you know what I mean.

    Finances are becoming a big problem for a lot of Euro teams. Younger categories are suffering because of it.
    Again we are in a transition moment. A lot of players that have been dominant for years are getting old and they will retire in next 5 years or so. So it depends a lot from the generation that is coming. I have faith in this new gen, it is promising. Especially as a lot of countries are starting to play better and better basketball. Finland is a great example of that. Also the number of competitors for European and World championships has been increased so now more teams can get exposure. This was without US though. US needs a new gen of stars, the drafts from 2010 until now have been very very weak. A lot of great players in years before that, so it's kinda OK for a while (we'll see how this wiggins year turns out) but we need more potential stars to show up.

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    The main problem is the frequency of the Tournaments that the National Teams play.

    For example, Greece played:

    This summer in the FIBA World Cup.
    In 2013 they played in the FIBA Eurobasket.
    In 2012 we had the Olympics but Greece didn't advance from the Qualifying Tournament
    In 2011 they played in the FIBA Eurobasket.
    etc

    Both fans and most importantly the players are fatigued by the frequency of National competition. And it isn't a big surprise really that many important players don't want to compete with their countries every single summer.

    As for Euroleague and the NBA, in my estimation things started to change drastically since the rules started to change, both in Europe and in the NBA. In 2001 the shot clock changed in Europe from 30" to 24" and the same year the NBA legalized zone defences. In 2010 FIBA moved the 3p line from 6,25 meters to 6,75 getting closer to the NBA 3p line of 7,25 meters.

    Those changes made the transition from FIBA competition to the NBA and back much more simple.

    NBA teams can see more clearly if a player has some skills that can translate successfully in NBA competition and non-NBA teams can now utilize a little more the athletisism of some players that have the ability to break down defences one on one. The one thing that a player has to have to play in Europe is at least a great mid range shot because of the lack of defensive 3 seconds. They can't live and die by their driving ability.

    European bigs that can shoot the ball at least from mid range and pass are in high demand in the NBA. Also guards that have the fundamentals and maturity that many college players don't have are very valuable if they have the speed to stay with the elite athletes of the NBA defensively.

    So in a sense Euroleague is becoming a great source of mature talent for the NBA especially if someone considers that a 19 year old college kid is now eligible to enter the draft. Euroleague started to show signs of decline already from the 2010-2011 season. More and more top tier players are leaving for the NBA and that's not something that is going to change anytime soon.

    Of course the lowered sallaries in Europe doesn't make things any better. But i think the 19-20 year old kids crowding the NBA and changed rules are the main reasons for the current situation at least in Europe and the NBA.

    I think that at least the Olympic basketball tournaments should be amateur. But that's not going to happen with all the money involved.

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    Senior Member NorCal's Avatar
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    Just speaking for the United States, basketball's popularity from the youth levels all the way to the NBA both in number of people playing and people watching has been steadily on the rise.

    Contrary to many people's beliefs, I believe that our players are becoming more fundamentally sound and are more often reaching their potential than before. I'm only basing this off of what I see and what I read, there's really no way to measure these things. But I've been following high school basketball since the early 90s and the product I see on the courts in high level high school games as well as for our youth national teams is more organized and I don't see the egos as much as 10-15 years ago.

    We haven't produced a talent of the Lebron James, Kevin Durant level recently but we are still pumping out great players. There are a lot of players that could be NBA All Star level/Hall of Fame level players that are still 21 or younger- among the NBAers- Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, and in high school/college there is a lot of talent right now- Josh Jackson, Jaylen Brown, Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Troy Brown Jr., Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay, Stanley Johnson, - and that's just a few of the U.S. prospects. Not all of these guys will be great but some of them will.

    And some non-US kids have been dominating recently, I've seen more non-US prospects at or near the top of high school rankings in recent years than ever before- Andrew Wiggins, Ben Simmons, Dante Exum, Thon Maker, Deandre Ayton- I would bet good money on all of these guys having very, very good NBA and international careers.
    Last edited by NorCal; 09-08-2014 at 01:28 AM.

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    From the Philippines it's strong and growing. Heck, even college and high school players are treated, by some, as demi-gods. The new federation, which was setup less than a decade ago, has been working hard to raise the level from the youth levels up to the PBA. There's a bit of friction between a few parties, but overall, basketball good in the Philippines.

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    No, I read somewhere that basketball is actually the no.1 sports among youths (Yes even beating out soccer).
    It is that popular, and also partly because is it the most played sport in China. (Table tennis or soccer is actually the most popular spectator sport, but in
    terms of actual players basketball is no.1)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ctongco View Post
    From the Philippines it's strong and growing. Heck, even college and high school players are treated, by some, as demi-gods. The new federation, which was setup less than a decade ago, has been working hard to raise the level from the youth levels up to the PBA. There's a bit of friction between a few parties, but overall, basketball good in the Philippines.
    I bet after the philippines have played in the world cup, more kids will want to play basketball knowing that the philippines can compete against the world, they might have a chance to stand on the world stage (No matter how small a chance) playing against other great players..

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    On the first sight bball in europe is on decline. Sooner or later those fabolous players as M.Gasol, Parker, Nowitzki will retire and europe doesn't have the talents of that same caliber. Šarić arguably, while some will start naming one name after another, you recognise that extra-talent when you see him and most of those will likely be good players yet nowhere near the above mentioned trio.
    There are two posssibilities from european perspective:
    1. basketball is in decline
    2. change of rules switched the balance, players and youth schools haven't yet adapted to those and the level ogf the game seems at lower level because of that

    as ussualy it's probably a mixture of both.
    what we (talking from european perspective, as I lack knowledge to judge everyone else) need is:
    -Fiba europe pumping those millions they're getting from eurobasket TV rights back to bball federations, to enable them to invest more back in the sport
    -we can't let the national leagues falling further in competitiveness, euroleague has helped them stagnate with their weird competition system, if the whole league deteriorates in quality, you can't expect one single euroleague club to save the day when it comes to talent development, it's ussualy quite the opposite if they're charging towards results
    -club competitions need to open up, enable competitiveness in national championships and let the best teams play. Long term planning has been set aside as constantly playing in euroleague enables you to buy everything you can season after season instead of carefull planning and long term development (talents included), non-traditional bball countries and their clubs have to be given a realistic chance to achieve something
    -decreasing the number of int. tournaments in case that means teams are likely to get there with their best teams available.
    -unless Olympic tournament gets expanded, ditch them. Olympic comitee is having a nice living out of bball revenues and won't be willing to share that.

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    Senior Member ThePeraCar's Avatar
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    I think that basketball as a sport is growing but the quality of it is declining...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joško Poljak Fan View Post
    On the first sight bball in europe is on decline. Sooner or later those fabolous players as M.Gasol, Parker, Nowitzki will retire and europe doesn't have the talents of that same caliber. Šarić arguably, while some will start naming one name after another, you recognise that extra-talent when you see him and most of those will likely be good players yet nowhere near the above mentioned trio.
    Did you mean P. Gasol? Marc is great too, but I'd not count him next to Nowitzki & Parker, at least not yet.
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    YES. Its becoming more as a business. And players are treated as goods. So other team owners or teams dont want to 'lend' their goods to other teams and marketers be it a national team or whatever.

    In the Philippines a season comprises of 3 conference. Conference here is not a division but rather mini-tournaments. 1st conference is the fiesta cup which requires teams to parade an all-filipino roster. no foreigners. The second conference is usually for teams to enlist one unlimited height import but sometimes they change the rules and only allow imports with height of 6'8. The third conference is for teams to enlist, again just one, import with height limit of 6'4. The whole season runs for about 11 months. Each conference only gives players 2 weeks break. the last conference gives about 3-4 weeks. But those breaks are not full breaks as there is always tune-up games preparation for the next conference and to test and build out the new import's chemistry with the team. But lately it changed to accommodate the lending of players to the national team. So the Philippine Gilas players you saw in Spain, most of them, have not rested well for several YEARS! Some, especially those who got injured before were able to rest because they were injured. For example last year, I think just 2 days after the FIBA Asia, PBA already had games. The team owners want to get most of their money they pay the players. This is insane because the health of the players are being disregarded. And its a very physical league as it allows shoving,pushing, and other nasty physical contacts. The team that went to spain is special because they played their hearts out without having concern about injuries or whatever that can damage their 'stock' in the pro league.

    Pay-to-Play is growing uncontrolled. Its more like a marketing game. Money speaks, as some say.

    but 'basketball' is continuously growing. but as a business more than a sport.
    Last edited by Ador Cruzado; 09-08-2014 at 07:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levenspiel View Post
    Did you mean P. Gasol? Marc is great too, but I'd not count him next to Nowitzki & Parker, at least not yet.
    true that I meant Pau.
    Going a bit further... Sabonis, Kukoć, Dražen, Divac, Marciulionis, Kirilenko... even if they weren't NBAers or haven't made as significant career there Bodiroga, Šaras, Navarro, Šiška, Smodiš, Papaloukas, Diama, Rebrača, Djordjević + Argentinians that played in europe, i'm sure I forgot many more. Could be I'm being nostalgic, but to me it seems the talent level in europe is staying at the same level at the very best, realisticaly more like declining.

    Honestly, right now, the best middle-age/young NBA players from europe are Marc, Gallinari, Dragič, Batum, Valančiunas (excluding Noah as he is basicaly a US product) some more decent players and that's about it, none of those will become a superstar on the Manu, Pau, Parker, Nowitzki level, let alone play a major role at winning championship the way they did.

    I think we all expected european countries to close the gap a little bit towards USA on average, while somehow europe is at the same distance as in 2000-2005 or even further...
    Last edited by Joško Poljak Fan; 09-08-2014 at 07:33 PM.

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    While Europe may be declining in the future it's quite possible a country like Canada (who is now producing NBA draft picks steadily.) could be the rising power. Also while Spain's leaders will be retiring sometime in the future having a strong domestic league I'm sure they'll produce more talent. It wouldn't shock me with the way Bundesliga is developing if Germany returned to some degree of prominence.
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    I think in Europe and on a club level yes due to the financial constraints and economic crisis that some European countries are facing.

    Regarding the NT's I also believe this has to do with the basketball superstars of the last decades who are retiring or getting close to retirement without having new superstars emerging as of yet for these countries... Like Nowitzki for Germany as an example...

    I also believe the gap between the U.S NT and the other NT's will again start increasing after this 2014 WC and until we see a new country emerging with great talents (maybe Canada as an example) or Serbia, Croatia, Turkey who have many talented youngsters.

    What's interesting is that the main basketball powerhouses throughout the world are still the same with minor changes and this is why we can see that 6 out of 8 of the teams that made the quarterfinals of this WC are the same teams from back in 2010.

    Also countries with a basketball culture like Lithuania will always be present and I don't see basketball declining there in the near future

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    USA in the semis, Lithuania in the semis, Serbia in the semis, Brazil chokes, Spain chokes at home, Puerto Rico embarrasses themselves.

    Nothing has changed at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCal View Post
    Contrary to many people's beliefs, I believe that our players are becoming more fundamentally sound and are more often reaching their potential than before. I'm only basing this off of what I see and what I read, there's really no way to measure these things. But I've been following high school basketball since the early 90s and the product I see on the courts in high level high school games as well as for our youth national teams is more organized and I don't see the egos as much as 10-15 years ago.

    We haven't produced a talent of the Lebron James, Kevin Durant level recently but we are still pumping out great players. There are a lot of players that could be NBA All Star level/Hall of Fame level players that are still 21 or younger- among the NBAers- Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, and in high school/college there is a lot of talent right now- Josh Jackson, Jaylen Brown, Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Troy Brown Jr., Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay, Stanley Johnson, - and that's just a few of the U.S. prospects. Not all of these guys will be great but some of them will.

    And some non-US kids have been dominating recently, I've seen more non-US prospects at or near the top of high school rankings in recent years than ever before- Andrew Wiggins, Ben Simmons, Dante Exum, Thon Maker, Deandre Ayton- I would bet good money on all of these guys having very, very good NBA and international careers.
    Couldn't disagree more with the first part. First of all our players are becoming anything but more fundamentally sound and there is a way to measure that... game tape. Furthermore, I have seen more ego these days than even the worst of the players of past eras. Also, Mudiay is not a US prospect. He's from the Congo.

    The last part I will agree with and have been saying myself for awhile now.

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    I think basketball is doing the opposite of declining. As was said already, it is simply in transition. USA players are becoming less skilled and less complete but players all over the world are becoming either more athletic (Europe, Americas, Asia/Oceania) or more skilled (Africa). What needs to happen now is domestic leagues around the country need to continue to grow as well as the basketball culture in those countries. The gaps in Europe are especially glaring to me, where France's league should definitely be bigger than it is right now.

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    Senior Member auris1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exitche View Post
    I think that basketball as a sport is growing but the quality of it is declining...
    I think this is a very smart remark and would be something I agree upon .
    All the recent changes in rules Fiba had made was to accommodate NBA style.
    So in whatever international basketball was different and good at was destroyed just to have USA to win regardless . Moving a 3 point line further ,getting 24 seconds instead of 30 for possession ,letting players to travel one, two ,three steps without ball hitting the floor etc. Letting physical part of the game to be more important than technical . So yeah ,quality is gone , and the rest of the world can not ,and probably will never be able to compete with USA due to the reasons mentioned above.
    Because of this , the type of the game that needs to be played is not suitable for non USA teams ,so we all try and fail to produce any decent looking bb .

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