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Media Attention & Canadian Basketball

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When you think of “sports in Canada”, what comes to mind? Instantly, a lot of people might think of hockey, football, or even lacrosse. Despite how big basketball is in Canada, Canadian basketball is constantly put on the back burner to other sports.

This begs the questions: Why is basketball, a game invented in Canada, so much more popular in the States? Why is it that Canada only has one team in the NBA? Why is it that basketball in Canada barely gets any love from the media? Before we even begin to think of answering these questions, we have to acknowledge the plain and simple fact that this is a complex issue that has multiple answers. Also, there are probably a few answers that we as the general public are not even aware of. At any rate, let’s take a brief look at the relationship between media attention and Canadian basketball, and hopefully, we can draw out some answers.

Among a few of the reasons that Canadian basketball gets little love from the media is because the decision makers a.k.a. the corporate bigwigs in places of power, are unaware of the actual size and potential of the basketball industry in Canada. So, instead of rewarding media coverage to basketball, they cover sports like hockey that are a sure shot and for which they are guaranteed to have an audience. Why do they do this? The answer is money. Now let me break it down. The simple fact is that having an audience is the key to generating revenues because this is where advertisers come into play, and this is where the money is made. If an advertiser sees that a particular media outlet such as television has a station that offers a lot of hockey coverage, then they know that there is a high potential for an available audience for their products and services.

In the defense of the media, it wouldn’t make sense to cover a sport that has no known audience because then the coverage wouldn’t be satisfying anyone. It would just be a waste of time and resources. In the case of media attention for Canadian basketball, there are other sports that might appear to be more popular than basketball, so the media gives them more coverage. This is where part of the problem lies. Since the media might not know how popular basket-ball in Canada truly is, they refuse to give it the attention it deserves. If they would give Canadian basketball more coverage they would soon see a strong following.

To all those people who think basketball in Canada is weak or dying, allow me to break you off with some food for thought. Firstly,basketball in Canada is pretty big at the varsity level, but it is absolutely
massive at the recreational and street level. Even though I could hit you with some stats, the stats don’t do Canadian basketball any justice because they don’t represent how immense basketball is beyond the varsity level. Regardless, basketball in Canada is huge. For one, it’s a cheap sport to play; all you really need is a ball and some decent shoes. If you don’t have a ball, you could easily go to a court and find someone else who has one. In other words, basketball doesn’t dictate who can play based on whether or not they can afford to play. Not to hate on hockey or anything, but it’s far more expensive than basketball because it requires a lot of equipment, which is highly priced because of its market value and cost of production.

Even though hockey can be played with just skates and a stick, good luck trying to find a used pair of skates and an old stick for under $20. Keyword is used. When you look at buying those things new, you are looking at dishing out a couple hundred bucks. The point is basketball is one of the cheapest sports you can play, which is why it has such mass appeal. On top of that, basketball is a sport that is pretty easy to pick up and play, even if you have never played before. That makes it a little bit less intimidating and a little bit more inviting. Think about it, did you fear your first time picking up a basketball? Or did you fear your first time trying to keep your balance on two little blades stuck to the bottom of some ugly boots, while dodging high flying sticks and a puck? Not to mention the cold arena or weather you have to put up with.

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Secondly, because basketball has such a major presence in the States, we in Canada get a large amount of cross over coverage. In other words, we see most of the basketball coverage taking place in the U.S. because we subscribe to so many U.S. channels. Not only that, the majority of the mass media is based in the U.S., so for them to award coverage for something that is Canadian usually means that the Canadian content has to hit their radar. It would be extremely rare for the U.S. media to go out of their way looking for Canadian content, especially Canadian basketball given the level of basketball in the U.S. What this translates into is this, heavy basketball coverage in the U.S. creates a basketball culture here in Canada, but because the sports media is mostly concerned with the booming U.S. basketball industry, we in Canada get stuck with a severe lack of media attention for Canadian basketball.

Another huge obstacle that has prevented basketball in Canada from exploding is the fact that Canadian universities and colleges are not allowed to grant full athletic scholarships. This has huge implications because that limits the drive people have to play basketball on a serious level because the odds of creating a future from it are slim. Just imagine if universities and colleges were drafting kids from high school. How many people would be playing basketball then? The numbers are endless because not only is basketball popular amongst male students, but it has tremendous popularity with the ladies as well.

Lastly, before you can even try to hate on Canadian basketball and argue that it is not going anywhere, you need to recognize the fact that Canadian basketball is a growing industry, not an industry that has maxed out. Some people seem to think that because Canadian basketball has been around for so long that this is as big as it is ever going to get, which I bet my life on, is not the case. Even though Canadian basketball has been around for decades, it has not received any serious attention for all of those years. In addition to that, the market has changed drastically over the past few years. Canada is seeing more and more urban populations developing who have a passion and a love for the game. In other words, as big as basketball in Canada has become since its birth, the truth is, it’s still in its infancy and has a long way to go.

So now what? Now you support BBM and anybody else that is in support of Canadian basketball. The reason why you should back BBM is simple; we will provide the media attention that Canadian basketball desperately needs, and at the same time, we’re basketball fanatics that live in a basketball culture. We want to take Canadian basketball to the next level because all the players and fans deserve it, and because Canada deserves it. It’s time for Canadian basketball to blow; the industry is there, all it needs is for someone to shine a light on it, and BBM can provide that light.

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NBA

The Warriors Came Out To Play This Series

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The Warriors Came Out To Play This Series
RIP Portland...

Even without the fantasy Basketball of Kevin Durant in this series, the Golden State Warriors still brought out the brooms like ‘Fantasia’.

And swept out of Game 4 like Thanos click finger dust, the Portland Trailblazers may have only lost by a bucket (119-117)…and in overtime at that. But with all the Splash they had to contend with this series from brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they were left dealing with more leaks and holes in all of their own ones like Mickey Mouse in said Disney epic.

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This was meant to be the showdown between Dell Curry’s boys Steph and Seth which divided a household. And although the youngest gun stepped up to the plate, swung big in this carnival and knocked them down, big brother was always watching.

Steph Curry averaged over 36 points a game this series. Just read that again. 36 points. Right now we don’t need to talk about Kevin.

The Warriors are a dynasty for the ages even without their best player (although this writer thinks he wasn’t missing this entire series). The first team to make it to five straight finals since the Boston Celtics. The 1960’s Bill Russell Celtics. That’s King James crowning legendary. And Steph Curry with the shot and that facet of the game is just as iconic and dominant as a Bill block.

Give some credit to a blazing Portland side who never gave up despite the box score. They can hold their heads in the PDX. Even in their Moda Center home-stand City Of Roses end in RIP City. Their season eulogy should read as a celebration and commiseration, not a trolling condescension from critically entitled fans who have done nothing to determine the outcome of these games and could never make it this far in their wildest memes. They call themselves “influencers”? Well no one’s going to remember them in 50 years.

The NBA will remember one of their Top 100 greatest of all-time in a half century though. As after hitting the biggest buzzer beater in playoff history against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, Damian Lillard played through the pain of separated ribs this series and still made the Basketball God’s look down from the hoop heavens with praise. Like New York singer St. Vincent tweeted, “Damian Lillard is my hero”. Even his backcourt brother of splash CJ McCollum in the only small man set up to rival Curry and Klay came out to play against the Warriors after midrange mining the Nuggets into submission in Denver just over a week ago.

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But Curry’s red hot triple double, starter, mains and dessert dish of 37, 13 and 11, to go along with a playing not crying, Draymond Green’s day of 18, 14 and 11 assists also was just too much in the clutch. As Stephen and Dray became the first teammates in NBA history to have a triple double in the same playoff game. Forget how much this team can unbelievably keep winning, how does this ball manage to get shared this much?

Well that just may be the secret of success?

The real test is dubbed next however in the Warriors last season in Golden State before they move across that Golden bridge to the Silicon Valley of a digital age in San Francisco. They will play the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks (probably…Giannis…MVP. Sorry Toronto but come on!) and Raptors series. But by then they should have some guy called Kevin back.

I mean come on. This has been getting crazy. This is just out of hand like said ball in Splash City.

Now Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics’ record of eight straight finals and wins doesn’t look far out of reach for Steph Curry and the player and team with the biggest range in the association over the gate of the Pacific.

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NBA

Welcome to the Toronto Raptors’ Jurassic Park

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Welcome To The Toronto Raptors' Jurassic Park
They The North...

“In Jurassic Park, Raptor fans wait until after dark. Even if the cold might eat them!”

Fans find a way.

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An ace serve or two away from being as legendary as Wimbledon’s ‘Murray Mound’ or ‘Henman Hill’ outside the Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Raptors Maple Leaf Square’s “Jurassic Park” may just be the ticket for this sold out crowd.

Raptor Klaw, Kawhi Leonard ruled the earth last night. He and the T-Dot at the final tick beat the Sixers in The Six, as his shot bobbled like a beach ball on the surface of a swimming pool before making the biggest splash of these postseason playoffs. Taking longer to fall than Leonardo DiCaprio’s spinning top in ‘Inception’. But this was no dream.

And if you thought the Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto erupted last night, then outside in Maple Leaf Square it was like the volcanoes that killed the dinosaurs after that big ball dropped. An Armageddon even Bruce Willis couldn’t save like he wish he could his career.

Welcome to Jurassic World.

With all due respect to the Linsanity of Jeremy Lin, or pick your poison whoever is your flash card pick of the bench mob pack, but the Jurassic Park crowd fenced in outside of Scotia is the teams spiritual sixth man, spark plug. As electric as the paddock like perimeter fence surrounding them feels with this buzz over basketball (and national sport hockey come Leaf picking season), this crowd can’t be contained.

Forget rain or shine. You see the slickers. These faithful fans will pitch a spot waiting for game time like the ball to drop in Times Square for New Year in New York, sleeping bag lining up all day in their hordes huddled for warmth. These beautiful fans will brave the harshest, most frigid temperatures to be the coldest fans in the game in more ways than one. Part of the ‘We The North’ community in the 6 that the Basketball God’s look down on with pride, whilst other armchair fans watch this game for the throne from home. Or leave early like those suit and tie corporate seats trying to catch that last red eye Matt Bonner home.

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Can you imagine of they called game early before Kawhi last night?

I could imagine Drake taking in the CN Tower looking up views of the Jurassic though, like it was all the basketball God’s plan.

Well those in the park for recreation stayed until the beautiful end to a game Butler almost delivered bitter. And you could could phantom cam see every emotion in slow motion last night as Leonard’s buzzer beating ball toyed with the rim like three dots on messenger, or Damien Lillard even further downtown in Oklahoma City.

This is the spirit of the stadium and the soul of the squad, expanding the capacity arena and the Canadian ballclubs worldwide fanbase watching on their own Jumbotrons.

And the Toronto Raptors are going to need all the north they can get if they’re going to stop the Bucks in Milwaukee.

But this club has the claws to do it. And if you don’t think they can win in Wisconsin on their own road to being the first franchise outside of the United States to be NBA finalists and who knows what next against the Warriors(?), then just watch this Canadian cornerstone from the Jurassic era.

Extinct in six? Nah! Get ready to hear the North roar.

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