Two of the three major sports watched and played in the United States are basketball and football. Both have thrived as spectator sports—the NBA and the NFL are major organizations that dominate sports headlines, talk radio shows, television commercials and internet discussion. Sports gambling is a multi-billion dollar market, of which the NBA and the NFL are major factors in. Not only are the two sports extremely successful in regards to their professional organizations, but they are also played on millions of streets and backyards across America by our youth. Physical activity and sports have become routine in the daily life of youngsters—these sports exist within the hallowed halls of schools, they have significance in after-school programs, and of course, the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of pickup games played across the nation each day.
Basketball is one of the most widely-played sports across the globe. The effects of the sport and its influence is demonstrable on the streets of Shanghai, the backyards in Europe, and of course, every youth who has played hoops with nothing but a ball and a basket—sometimes a milk basket hung by nails on a street pole—in the United States. One of the primary advantages of basketball as a sport is that it is so readily accessible to anyone who wishes to play. It requires nothing but some sort of hollow container, a ball, and some empty space. Due to the fact that basketball is a sport that requires very little equipment, it has blossomed into one of the most popular sports in the world. One need only to look at an NBA roster to see how wide-ranging the sport’s influences are—from Dirk Nowitzki from Germany, to Yao Ming from China, to Dwayne Wade from the United States, to Luol Deng from Africa, to Anderson Varejao from South America.