Basketball is one of the most popular sports in America.
It’s a sport that attracts huge audiences across all age groups, from children to adults.
So, what makes it so appealing for viewers?
People like to watch basketball because the game is filled with lots of fast-paced action, which makes it exciting to spectate on. Another reason is that the sport is high scoring, not to mention the fact that the game consists of very interesting rivalries between teams and players.
Reasons why people enjoy watching basketball
In this article we look at some of the key factors that make watching professional basketball such an enjoyable experience.
1. Basketball games are fast-paced and exciting
One thing many fans love about basketball is how quickly action unfolds during each game.
This can be attributed partly to the speed with which plays occur (usually three times per down) but also due to the short time between quarters.
Each quarter lasts just 12 minutes rather than 20 or 30 minutes in other major American sports.
Because there’s less downtime between quarters, highlights often happen sooner after they’ve occurred on the court.
Not only does this mean more excitement for spectators, it means basketball fans don’t have as much chance to get bored waiting around.
Also, because basketball gameplay is faster paced, there’s always something happening when you’re sitting courtside – unlike baseball where players may appear to do nothing until their turn comes around again.
Fans will also appreciate being able to see lots of different things occurring throughout the course of the game.
For example, while footballers might run onto the field before kickoff, basketball stars usually warm up well ahead of tip-offs.
The result is that basketball games tend to attract larger crowds than other mainstream sports.
2. Basketball games are high scoring
Another reason why basketball is popular among fans is its ability to produce big scores.
In fact, no other league even comes close to matching the NBA in terms of points scored.
In the 2018-2019 season, teams were averaging 112.4 points per game, up from when the mean figure was 102.7 points back in the 2015-2016 campaign.
Compare these figures with any other top European club competition and it becomes clear that basketball produces far higher scores than anything other sport.
And if you’re looking for further proof, consider that LeBron James’ record breaking game which saw him score 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats on March 3rd 2014.
Relive this amazing moment by taking a look at the footage below:
Such records prove beyond doubt that the NBA generates significantly better performances than other leagues.
However, despite the amount of goals scored, not everyone enjoys watching basketball purely because of the sheer volume of shots attempted.
Some fans prefer seeing fewer balls going into the basket instead of many.
Others simply want to see more variety and skill shown within the game itself.
There’s definitely room for debate over both sides of this argument, particularly regarding the quality of shots taken and accuracy rate.
However, whatever your opinion, there’s little denying that every person loves watching someone perform brilliantly for 90 seconds then miss the net on five successive attempts!
3. Basketball has interesting player and team rivalries
Rivalries are incredibly important elements in pro sporting events.
They add spice to proceedings and encourage supporters to attend games. T
his feeling is especially strong in case of basketball rivalries.
Although the term “rivalry” tends to conjure images of grudges and hatred between individuals, basketball rivalries aren’t quite as intense as those experienced in traditional sports.
Instead, rivalries develop naturally through competitive play.
For instance, Celtics versus Lakers clashes were born out of long-standing competitiveness between the respective Boston and Los Angeles franchises.
Similarly, Memphis Grizzlies versus Atlanta Hawks animosity came about thanks to a series of tough playoff meetings between the pair.
Yet others, however, are caused by political agendas or corporate sponsorships.
Take the Indiana Pacers versus Detroit Pistons rivalry, for example, which developed following disagreements amongst management levels.
Regardless of the origins, rivalries generate great interest within fan bases whenever they break news.
Whether it’s a new signing, trade, victory or defeat, everyone wants to know what happens next.
Basketball offers several opportunities for opposing squads to come face-to-face, which makes for compelling viewing.
4. Basketball combines offensive and defensive strategy
Although basketball isn’t known for featuring spectacular defence, it’s easy to understand why the best defences win championships.
After all, winning titles requires hard work and dedication, qualities that apply equally to offence and defence.
Therefore, the skills required to succeed defensively are vital to success overall.
Furthermore, basketball provides ample opportunity to utilise the talents of defenders.
By using pace and length to stop opponents getting past them, defenders can use quickness, strength and positioning effectively.
Allowing attackers too much space would surely lead to embarrassing losses.
At the same time, skilled attackers must learn how to cope without support from midfielders and forwards should they lose possession.
Consequently, successful dribblers need to possess good ball control along with passing ability. If they fail to find teammates willing to receive passes, then their performance could become uninspiring and ineffective.
All of this adds up to show that basketball demands a combination of strategic offense and effective defense.
Indeed, this is evident in the way star athletes approach games.
For example, Kobe Bryant knew exactly how many touches he’d take in total (often in excess of 50), whilst Kevin Durant sets himself precise shooting percentages every night.
On occasions when neither of these approaches are adhered to, results invariably suffer.
So, whether you enjoy watching basketball solely because of the thrill of witnessing amazing individual moments, or you simply wish to see teams competing fiercely against each other, the four elements discussed here will help explain why millions tune in week after week.
If you’ve enjoyed reading through this article, take a look at some of our other content on the blog, such as:
- Why basketball is considered the best sport;
- Reasons why basketball is better than soccer; or
- Whether basketball can be a hobby