Having an NBA basketball wallpaper is all about showing the passion for the game. Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world, right behind Soccer.
The reason for the popularity of this sport is the inclusion of many foreign players which are followed very closely by the player’s home country.
Players such as Yao Ming (China), Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), Tony Parker (France), Steve Nash (Canada), Andrea Bargnani (Italy), Andrei Kirilenko (Russia), Leandro Barbosa (Brazil) and Pau Gasol (Spain) have led to this increasing popularity throughout the world. With the advent of many international players bringing their game to the states, it has created a much more watched product internationally.
This has helped bring the game back to the glory years of the 80’s and 90’s when stars such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan became international superstars after playing in the 1992 in Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. However, after these players retired, the popularity of the sport began to wane until superstars from other countries began coming to the NBA.
With this advent of the international influence of the NBA, the league is now televised in over 200 countries in almost 50 different languages. This has allowed the league to grow very quickly overseas. With this increased exposure of the NBA overseas. It has also changed the makeup of the players in the NBA.
As more and more international players are making the NBA rosters, the league is getting more attention outside of the U.S. The amount of European players has doubled in the league, just in the past 5 years. During the 2000-01 season, the percentage of players that were US born was at 90%.
During the 2008-09 season, the percentage of players that are US born has dipped below 80%. So in just 8 years, the amount of players from all over the world has increased at a very quick rate. Currently there are 76 international players from 31 countries currently playing in the NBA.
The international influence coupled with the fact that new stars have been established during this time has allowed the NBA to regain many of the viewers that were lost when the Jordan era ended in 1998. Stars such as Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Paul have reached superstar status in the same time that the international influence on the game has expanded.
This has allowed the international audience to appreciate the type of players that these men are and are going to be able to carry the league for another 10-15 years as the game continues to expand across the globe. This is a very important time for the NBA and they now have the right people to help them stay as one of the most popular games around the world.
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