The NBA picks its most popular players to rep its brand, which is a huge reason why it’s so popular worldwide.
Superstar athletes such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant make it a point to market their brand all across the world with different apparel. They market their highlights and overall brand to entice fans to invest their free time into following the NBA.
It’s also easy to create highlight mixtapes of all of the best players in the NBA, as viewers can digest some of the greatest dunks, crossovers, and layups the world has ever seen in just a few minutes.
The marketability of the NBA as an entire brand is what separates it from other professional sports leagues across the world. Sneakerheads across the world are waiting to buy the newest Jordan’s, LeBron’s, Kobe’s, and other household names.
It’s also easy to debate basketball and compare legends to other legends.
A common debate that rages on in the basketball community is LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan. While those two players played in completely different eras, they still set the standard for greatness for their respective time periods, setting a debate about who did it better.
Those conversations don’t only live in the barbershop or at a social gathering. Shows like ESPN’s First Take bring those debate topics to the studio and could do endless segments on who is greater than who or why. It leads to engagement, which leaks onto Twitter and other social media platforms.
Debating accolades, who was the better scorer, passer, and any other attribute that makes a player great can be fun. The debate then considers which era the player played in, what teams they were on, and a lot of different factors.
Events like the Slam Dunk Contest have also garnered interest from even the most casual basketball fan. It allows the best dunkers in the world to show off their athleticism and creativity in one night.
It also helps those players from the older generations, such as Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kevin Garnett, all chime in with their thoughts on how their generation differs from the modern era.
It allows for a debate to emerge from that and compare the athletes and overall playstyle, which keeps fans engaged.
Players have also shown a willingness to give back to the game of basketball when their time is up. Not only do they give back to basketball, but their community.
For example, Kobe Bryant, before his tragic death, used to mentor players such as Kyrie Irving, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, and Jayson Tatum. The players’ connection to the game and keeping legends’ legacies alive helps keep pushing the game of basketball forward.
International players also help create unique storylines that may resonate with passionate basketball fans.
For example, Nikola Jokic was drafted in the mid-second round out of Serbia, basically an afterthought but ended up becoming a two-time MVP.
Antetokounmpo also grew up in desolate conditions in Greece and emerged into one of the best basketball players of all time after also being viewed as an afterthought.
With so many passionate basketball fans out there, they may feel encouraged to test their knowledge, leading them to look at NBA picks and parlays.
Stats are such a quantifiable method when it comes to debating a player’s greatness.
We’ve seen a stretch where James Harden literally put up 50-point games across multiple games in a row. When you see eye-popping stats like that, you are encouraged to put your knowledge to the test and tune in to the games.
All in all, the NBA embraces change, the shift to social media, and understands the importance of marketing their brand.
That is why the biggest name stars are known to essentially anyone with a pulse, even if they don’t follow the NBA or make NBA picks today.