I say no. There is NO better sport than basketball. Period.
Here's a short list that should convince even the most belligerent non-basketball person:
#1. Basketball is fun.
- Sure you can have fun playing ANY sport, but there is just a certain feeling that comes from putting that ball into that hoop and hearing that "swish" sound. Or making a breakaway layup. Or blocking someone's shot! Or stealing the ball from someone who is trying to get all fancy with their dribbling. Kids as young as 3 or 4 (probably younger in some areas) can find joy in shooting some for of a ball into some form of a hoop. Who among you hasn't shot a scrunched up piece of paper at a trash can? And if you make it ... you can't help but smile and think "I made that! Two points!"
#2. Basketball only requires very limited resources to play.
- Think about it for a minute. More than any other sport out there, basketball requires only the most basic of equipment. A basket and a ball. Even soccer (the next closest "basic equipment" sport) requires at least two goals and room to run. But basketball can be played in your dinky little dorm room! Heck, you can even shoot toilet paper wads at the trash can in your bathroom (although the feeling is not as gratifying when you sink a shot from 30 inches rather than 30 feet). Drive down any neighborhood that doesn't have covenants against them and you're sure to find countless hoops just waiting for some "ballers" to use them.
#3. Basketball works great for many people, or just TWO people.
- How many other sports can be played with just two people?! Even when there are lots of people waiting to play, the games can be made to last less time and team members can switch out very easily.
#4. Basketball balances teamwork with individual talent. Neither one replaces the need for the other.
- Stick with me on this one please. Michael Jordan was ridiculous talented. Everyone has heard of him and most everyone has seen his amazing talent on display either in person or on YouTube videos, etc. But as great as he was, he never won a Championship, much less a single game, by himself. On the other side of the coin, you may have a team that works cohesively to play aggressive defense and stymies opponents. But someone eventually has to put that ball in that hoop, which requires some level of talent and skill. The best individuals make the team around them better, and the best teams can make one individual truly shine.
- You can be a winner by making that last shot, but you can also be a winner by being on the team that siply played best together.
#5. Basketball requires a certain level of physical fitness, but you can still play into your 50s.
- Look at a typical NFL offensive line and you'll see as much "extra" weight as you will on your neighborhood coach potato committee. There are occasional "heavy" basketball players, but the majority don't come close to that level of physical unfitness.
- The back and forth, up and down required each game forces players to build up more than average cardiovascular fitness. This helps prevent heart attacks and prolongs life. This is not unique to basketball, but some sports involve a lot more "standing around" than constant movement. Baseball is probably the worst offender, with hockey, soccer, or water sports being closest to non-sedentary.
- I still play basketball with guys that are in their late 40s or early 50s. They are certainly not as fast as the younger guys, but they can still play the game at a very high level. Their experience allows them to know more than their younger peers and they maximize efficiency of movement to get open for a shot or make the right pass.
I could go on, but this was intended to just be a short list. I welcome your challenges and comments. If there are enough good arguments I'll add my second list of reasons ... but I doubt I even need to go there. So run me off the field football fans! Knock my argument out of the park baseball players! Spike one down my throat volleyballers! Kick one past me soccer stars! Sink my battleship all ye swimmers! Bowl me over pinheads! Put me on ice hockey puckers! Tennis anyone? I doubt it! Those folks are probably too pretentious to read blogs.
But if you do play tennis and live nearby, call me ... I'd love to play again! :)