Top Five Reasons Why the NBA Will Surpass the NFL in Popular Culture in the Next Two Decades

A couple of years ago, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made a bold statement regarding the state of the NFL. He cited the top football league as one that marketed itself, which was a part of its success. There's plenty to dissect in his remarks when comparing them to the NBA. Here are five reasons why the basketball league will reign supreme in the future.

  1. Marketability of its Players: Cuban made a point about how the NFL markets the league while the NBA markets its players. He talked about how the average person couldn't recognize a football star like Travis Kelce or Patrick Mahomes but knew who Stephen Curry or LeBron James was. A significant part of this is promoting its biggest stars, whether it's starring in movies like Space Jam 2 or commercials for products such as PlayStation 4, the National Basketball Association has an enormous advantage over the National Football League.

  2. Recognizable Teams: While the National Football League is recognized by legendary franchises such as the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the National Basketball Association can make this claim, too. You have legendary teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics, and the Golden State Warriors. Roger Goodell might think he has an advantage regarding the NFL's marketability of the league. But Adam Silver can go toe-to-toe with him in this aspect. Speaking of which...

  3. Adam Silver: You rarely hear people gripe about the NBA commissioner, which is refreshing in an age of bad leaders. Rob Manfred has turned sour with baseball fans, Roger Goodell isn't well-phrased for his handling of particular scandals, namely BountyGate and Ray Rice. Gary Bettman, well, everybody hates Gary Bettman, specifically in Canada. That leaves Silver, who's done an excellent job listening to basketball fans and tailoring the league around their needs.

  4. Concussions: A big part of the National Football League's issues is its handling of CTE studies. According to Boston University, 99% of former NFL players had concussion-related problems. So what did Roger Goodell and company do to scientists studying the trend? They tried to intimidate the researchers. You don't see such controversy with Silver's league, where he's worked with NBA players to create a protocol that works around them.

  5. The All-Star Game: The Pro Bowl has always been notorious for being a drag, leaving fans and casual watchers bored with the product. You'd think that assembling the best players on a football field would bring eyeballs to the game. That's not the case. However, it's much different for the National Basketball Association, where you have festivities such as a Skills Competition and an exciting Slam Dunk Contest. On top of that, the NBA All-Star Game is riveting in its own right, allowing for high-scoring affairs and letting the players have fun.