The NBA has legions of fans around the world. Not only is it one of the major professional sports based in the USA and Canada, it’s the biggest and most well-known men’s basketball league in the world. But have you ever wondered what it is that makes it so popular? We now have the answer, thanks to Twitter.
The official NBA UK Twitter account recently posed the question, “What made you fall in love with the NBA?” to its one hundred thousand followers. While the American Twitter account hasn’t asked the question, the very fact the UK account has been the one to post only highlights the global nature of the basketball league.
The majority of responses are in the form of images of fans’ favourite players, or at least, iconic players that sparked their love interest with the NBA. Former professional player Allen Iverson, for example, is mentioned by one user. Iverson is best-known for the fact he’s relatively short in comparison to his peers, at only 6 feet in height, yet he is often regarded as one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history.
Other legendary players mentioned include Michael Jordan (unsurprisingly), LeBron James and Steph Curry (who is claimed to be one of the greatest shooters in NBA history). In fact, Iverson and Curry are mentioned several times by various users.
The list of replies also highlight the age difference in fans of the NBA, with some users tweeting pictures of players including Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played between 1979 – 2000 and 1969-1989, respectively.
Fortunately, not everyone gives their reply in image form, as some are actually able to use words. One user says, “Firstly Rodman, then it was probably Shaq and Iverson when I really got into it. Always had a soft spot for the 76ers because of it.”
While another claims, “Shaq when I started watching in 92. Then became a LeBron fan since his day 1.”
What is perhaps an unfortunate notable absence, is the actual reasons these players kicked off a love affair with the NBA for their fans as it could be all too easy to say ‘because they’re great players.’
Of course, the NBA isn’t strictly a male-orientated sport and to that degree, several women have also given their two cents as to what made them fall in love with the NBA (and perhaps opposed to the WNBA).
Yet again, Michael Jordan is mentioned several times, along with former Golden State Warriors power forward, Chris Webber.
Si Chris Webber, my 1st crushie when I was a kid with tulo sipon. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/BGJ6DwWhf7— Aiza B. Dela Cruz (@DELACRUZaiza) June 27, 2022
While it would be fair to say that a large proportion of the current crop of NBA fans have been drawn to the sport thanks to the appeal of some of the biggest names, including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, the entire tweet thread proves that some fans appreciate the ‘different’ players.
These include Dennis Rodman, who commanded an imposing presence on the court thanks to his changing hair colour and large piercings, and Allen Iverson, who was able to compete with players much taller than him. Clearly some fans appreciate an underdog story.
If you’re an NBA fan, what made you fall in love with it? And if you’ve never seen a game, hopefully this Twitter thread could convince you to give it a go.