Basketball: America’s New #1 Sport


There is no sport more American than baseball, or more exemplary of the American spirit than football. But through all of these American pastimes that created legends and left legacies in our great nation, there is one sport right now that the country is obsessed with: Basketball.

Basketball culture rules the streets of US towns today. Any major city you look in, any small neighborhood you stroll through, there is one common thing you see: a basketball hoop. Not a cylinder of baseballs and a wooden bat. Not a tire swing set up as a passing target and a couple footballs. Almost any guy can put together a 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 competition at a local park.

Kids don’t want to be the next Babe Ruth or Joe Montana anymore. They want to be the next LeBron James or Steph Curry or Kobe Bryant. Tossing TDs or going yard aren’t cool anymore, but crossing up someone 1-on-1 and pulling up a three on them is. On any street, there are guys playing pickup games. And basketball isn’t a sport where men dominate, either. Girls can play basketball and be just as good as any guy, without it being dangerous, like football, where the strength and size of a grown man makes it near impossible for a woman to play, and baseball, where fans believe girls are more in place playing softball.

And it’s not just my opinion. Many people believe that basketball is the king of American sports. “Basketball is the best sport because it’s a team sport, which means everyone on the court can contribute to the game in some way,” Caroline Hand (8) said.

“I like basketball because it’s a sport that challenges me both mentally and physically,” Viswaved Uppala (8) said.

Basketball is also prominent in popular culture. Rappers such as Jay-Z, the Notorious B.I.G, and Ice Cube are famous for using basketball lines in their songs. And rapper/singer Drake is the Global Ambassador for his hometown NBA team, the Toronto Raptors. Ex-president Barack Obama used to play in a pickup basketball game before every major election. The one time he didn’t play, he lost.

In the late 1800 and early 1900s, we had baseball: ballpark sluggers and hot dogs in the dugouts. Then, in the mid and late 1900s, we had football: awe-inspiring QBs and the pre-game tailgate. But now, rap music and Gatorade bottles dominate the streets of the US. There is more viewership in the NBA then in any other American sports league, and the contract deals are higher then any other sport. There is very clearly only one sport that people want to play in America right now. And that sport is basketball.