The NBA – A Sports League And A Cultural Movement
Basketball has taken a place in the hearts of so many people throughout the world that it is considered the number one sport in many countries, and a close second in many others. Although its global reach is still slightly behind that of football, basketball has given the world some of its most recognizable sports stars. Names like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and others have become household names far beyond their native USA, and the vests worn on the court have become a popular fashion item.
It has got to a point where people wear basketball merchandise often without really knowing much about the sport. The wearing of basketball vests in countries far neyond the shores of America is so widespread that it is something of a lottery as to whether someone wearing a Chicago Bulls shirt with “Jordan 23” on the back of it actually knows what a player Michael Jordan was. Within America, he is a sports icon. To a lot of others, he’s the guy in SpaceJam.
There could be a lot of arguing done as to whether this is a bad thing. Certainly, it is a little misleading to suggest that Michael Jordan is not known for his sporting ability in countries outside America. All over the world the NBA is shown on cable or terrestrial TV, and people in dozens of countries watched the all-conquering Chicago Bulls side of the 1990s carry all before them. If as a result, there are a few people wearing Bulls shirts who know little or nothing about the sport, then that’s how life is.