I mean, yes, I enjoy the NBA and love watching the games. There’s nothing like a Lebron James dunk over three defenders in the paint. But will anyone REALLY miss basketball?
The NBA has become the second most popular sport here in America, but even with that high level of popularity, I don’t think the absence of an NBA season will be anywhere near as devastating as say, the absence of an NFL season.
I feel that at this point most Americans are so relieved for the NFL lockout to end, that the NBA lockout is barely on anyone’s mind.
Yes, of course, there are a lot of NBA fans out there that are talking about the NBA lockout and the potential of a vacated season. But when it comes down to it, it just fails in comparison to how much people followed the NFL lockout.
It comes down to this. Football is king.Is it my favorite sport? No, not at all. But I don’t believe there is anyone who can deny how popular it is to Americans.
The NBA had been making a steady increase in popularity over the years, inching closer and closer to dethroning football as the top dog in America.
But now that the NFL owners and players have reached an agreement, and that the NBA owners and players are barely even talking, it looks like basketball has taken a step back.
There was a time this past season, when I thought that the NBA would soon become the number one sport in America.
I mean think about this, the Miami Heat just created their super team, now fans had a team to hate. The NBA finally had their villain team. You could argue that the Lakers were the villain before the Heat’s ‘Big 3’ assembled, but the Lakers never came close to the amount of dislike that the Heat did.
And that is really what every sport needs. Sure, having popular teams that everyone wants to cheer for is good. But what is even better than that is having a team that nearly everyone wants to hate.
It’s to the point when people will go out of their way to watch their games hoping they will lose. That’s what the Miami Heat did for the NBA.
When you have a team so strongly disliked, it not only gets NBA fans excited, but it will also get people who before did not even watch the NBA excited. People who don’t even like basketball, now they have another reason to not like basketball. But I bet that most of them will still tune in when the Heat are playing on ESPN.
The NBA was steam rolling in popularity, had there not had been a lockout, you might have seen a new number one. In the middle of the NBA season, this is how I saw the standings for American (team) sports in terms of popularity; NFL, NBA and MLB. At the rate the NBA was on I thought that this season they might be able to move into number one. But since it seems like there won’t be a 2011 season, this is how I predict the same standings looking; NFL, MLB and NBA.
At this point, I don’t know if either the NBA or MLB will ever top the NFL, it is simply too popular. Even if you made three more ‘super teams’ in the NBA, I still don’t think they would be getting past the NFL.
Baseball might be America’s past time, but football is America’s — well — current time.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. You can e-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.