No other sport in the world has the same amount glitz, glamour and glory as professional basketball. This sports franchise features prominent players, well known brand advertisements and an entire line of franchise collectibles ranging from posters, cards, cap to electronic games. The National Basketball Association, or the NBA as it is more popularly known, is a multimillion dollar industry. The large paychecks of the athletes alone are testament to the important significance of professional basketball in American culture.

Men of the Cloth

These checks are well earned. Players train hard each day perfecting their skills on and off court. They are the largest investment of the producers and sponsors of the basketball league for it is the players who truly give the sport its life. These players are what makes basketball great. As well known athletes, these men carry upon their shoulders the weight of an American icon and all its responsibilities. Professional players are expected not only to perform feats of athleticism on court; they are also expected to show a high sense of conduct and morals in public affairs.

The iconic stature of these athletes makes them the perfect endorsers for brand names, causes, events and other functions. Chicago Bull’s legendary Michael Jordan is recognized around the world. His very image and likeness is well known, he can represent the sport just by the sheer mention of his name. Of course, many other basketball stars are iconic to the world of the NBA. Basketball players have appeared in cereal ads, video games, movies, music videos and many other popular media.

Warm Benches

Naturally, this level of fame has its own share of problems. Athletes find themselves on the same level of popularity as entertainment icons such as actors, singers and the like. Privacy is often difficult for the more famous players and the lack of which places tremendous strain on their personal lives. Being brand carriers or endorsers also restricts players, forcing them to forgo personal preferences to reflect that of the brand they are endorsing.

Still, many athletes aspire to become part of the professional basketball league. Young men enter the college level league in hopes of being scouted and drafted into a team. Coaches and teachers have come to support the dreams of their students in pursuing a career in basketball. The parents and educators of these kids testify that their pursuit of the sport has given them an alternative to a life of truancy, drugs and gang violence. Indeed, there is good reason to encourage these young athletes.

Calling the Play

It is no wonder that Americans and people across the globe are so fascinated with the world of the NBA. The game alone has millions of viewers all over the world. There are entire features dedicated to the analysis of the game, its players and the different plays. Each NBA season marks an important milestone in the history of basketball. Every new team draft promises to deliver newer faces each year and even more fans continue to join the ever growing community. All the hard work and dedication of the athletes playing the sport has made it the marvelous wonder that it is today. GP

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