By Josh Kramer
Now that title is a bit deceiving. By no means am I saying that men’s basketball is better than women’s basketball. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Sure men’s hoop teams tend to be more talented, but the point here is that men’s basketball receives much greater viewership at both the collegiate and professional ranks than women’s basketball. It is a simple fact.
Now why exactly does this happen?
Here are the five main reasons.
1. Women’s basketball is way too predictable.
I know most people are not avid followers of women’s college basketball, while even less are intense WNBA followers. Andy Roddick stated a few weeks ago following his early exit from Wimbledon, “Sports would be like watching a DVD (if they were predictable).” There are two simple rules that hold true in the women’s game highlighting the point of predictability.
Rule #1: UConn or Tennessee will be in the Final Four every year (11 of the past 12 years at least one have made it). In addition, 15 of the past 25 champions have been one of these two prestigious programs. You saw what men’s March Madness produced this past year. VCU and Butler stories do not happen in women’s basketball. The women’s NCAA Tournament should not be referred to as March Madness. People should call it the “March Routine.” By no means is the women’s tournament “Madness” in any way.
Rule #2: The best women’s college player is immediately an All Star in the WNBA. This is truly astonishing to me how quick the transition is. Look at players like Maya Moore (already top 20 in the League in scoring a couple of months removed from college), Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi, and more. In the NBA, it is not too difficult to think of former Naismith’s Players of the Year, lottery picks, or even overall number one draft picks that have completely tanked in the NBA. How have guys like Greg Oden, Kwame Brown, and Michael Olowokandi panned out? And how many rookies make the All Star Game? Blake Griffin became the fifth rookie to make the All Star team since 1990 (others were Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Hill, Tim Duncan, and Yao Ming). I would be very curious to know how many WNBA rookies have made the All Star team.
Lastly, who wll have a bigger rookie year? Maya Moore or Jimmer Fredette? I think the answer is pretty obvious.
2. In baseball chicks dig the long ball. In basketball, people love points.
Sure defense wins championships. But people love to watch high scoring basketball affairs. Points, points, and more points are what people pay the price of admission for. Here are a few eye-popping statistics.
In 2010, four WNBA players averaged 20 or more points. 0 averaged 23 or more points. During 2010, 16 NBA players averaged 20 or more points. With ten scoring 23 or more a game.
In 2011, one WNBA team averaged over 90 points a game. Six of the teams averaged under 80. In the NBA, 11 teams averaged over 100 points, while all 30 teams averaged over 91 points. Could you imagine what would happen if an NBA team averaged less than 80 points a game?
3. The style of women’s basketball lacks the overall excitement level of men’s.
It is simple. People love to watch outrageous dunks and crazy hops in action. Men’s basketball, especially at the upper collegiate and professional ranks is played “Above the Rim.” Women’s basketball is played below the rim. Only a handful of women in the entire world can dunk a basketball. The majority of Division 1 men’s basketball teams feature a group of 15 players that are all able to dunk. And in the NBA, you would be able to count the number of players that are unable to dunk on one hand. Men’s basketball has become a slam jam.
4. People love star power and entertainers.
In our society, it is not socially acceptable to watch women show up other women the way that men do on the athletic field. Male players can block a shot and wag their finger while screaming in their opponent’s face. This is considered acceptable. If a woman did the same thing, she would likely receive a technical foul or at least lose some respectability from the American public. The general sports fan is infatuated with trash talking, showboating, and mega stars. The NBA has all of these things. The WNBA does not.
5. Men’s athletics, including basketball, receive much greater attention from the media and press than women’s athletics.
The media and press are just doing their job to the best of their abilities. Their job is to put out a product that will be viewed and seen by the most people. Reach is a key to the media industry. More people have an aptitude for men’s athletics, largely due to how the media has handled men’s athletics for decades now, and therefore most people would much rather watch a men’s basketball game over a women’s game. The media and press are widely aware of this and play right into it.
This by no means is a hit on women’s basketball by me. Girls like Maya Moore, Candace Parker, Sue Bird, and Diana Taurasi are phenomenal athletes that are deserving of much praise from the public. Sadly though, none of these women will ever have the star appeal of a LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, or Dwayne Wade due to the reasons stated above.
Men’s baskeball is greater than women’s basketball (in popularity).
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.