International interest in the NBA is at an all-time high. Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. With the NBA continuing to make efforts to expand across the globe, its popularity should increase for years to come.
Talented players are joining the NBA from across the world. Four of the top ten players in the NBA are from a country outside of the United States.
The biggest contributor to basketball’s success is Michael Jordan. He is widely considered the greatest basketball player of all-time. He is also known for globalizing the sport. Here are the ways in which he made the biggest impact on growing basketball internationally.
Read more about the NBA.
The Jordan Shoes
When people think of Michael Jordan, one of the first things that comes to mind is the shoes. When Jordan made the deal with Nike to make his own shoe, the Air Jordans, Nike became one of the most popular shoe brands. Everyone wanted to “be like Mike.” Wearing his shoes made people feel special and just a little bit more like him.
His shoes weren’t just popular for basketball players; Air Jordans could be worn by anyone. Jordan actually revolutionized the culture by making sneakers a fashion necessity.
As Jordan became an NBA superstar, the shoe became more popular, and so did Micheal Jordan’s name across the world. Nearly everyone wanted to buy a pair of Air Jordans to be a part of the trend.
Air Jordans became a symbol of pop culture. If Michael Jordan was not as great of a basketball player as he was, then the shoe would not have been nearly as popular. However, he continued to stay motivated on becoming great every year. As a result, he became the greatest basketball player of all-time. That made Air Jordans become the best-selling sneakers of all-time.
Team USA and Becoming a Global Icon
The “Dream Team” changed the landscape of international basketball. During the 1992 Olympics in Spain, the United States put together what was arguably the greatest team ever assembled in sports history. The whole world was able to witness the dominance and talent of Team USA as they cruised to a gold medal.
Michael Jordan was the face of the NBA at that time. He became the face of that team and the player fans were most excited to see. Fans frequently crowded outside the team’s hotel, eager to see Jordan and the other NBA stars.
The Dream Team marked the standard for elite basketball in the United States. The nation had previously embarrassed themselves by losing to other countries in the sport they created. So, they decided that NBA players would be allowed to represent Team USA.
Michael Jordan became the poster child for the beginning of this new change. It completely revolutionized the way other countries view the United States from a basketball standpoint. They saw firsthand how star-studded the talent across the NBA was. As a result, other countries made efforts to become better themselves so that one day, they could compete with Team USA.
The world watched Michael Jordan grow into the greatest basketball player of all-time. He made basketball exciting for all to watch and became a true legend in the process. Across the globe, people are becoming more interested in basketball, thanks to the legacy established by Michael Jordan.