My name is Ben. I like the NBA, a lot. The world does, too.
Due to a myriad of factors — the rise of “black culture” as the dominant cool-trait of pop culture; China’s insane love of the NBA; Michael Jordan’s status as the GOAT; and current NBA stars just being, flat out, better athletes than every one else, period — the NBA has become a global league with the brightest future of any other sports league in the world. Yes, the NBA will never be bigger than football in the US or “football” (the British version) in Europe, but basketball will be the second sport there while being undisputedly number one in Asia (meanwhile, no one outside of North America gives a crap about NFL while Americans, in general, find soccer a bore).
As a result, the NBA’s influence on pop culture has transcended sports. Walk around the trendiest districts of NYC or Tokyo, and you’ll see Air Jordans sneakers. Go to the Philippines or China and you’ll see kids hooping, doing their best Kobe impression. Listen to Jay-Z and Kanye rap — and love them or hate them, you can’t deny they’re everywhere — and you’ll hear NBA references.
And so, as a pop culture geek, a NBA fan, an aspiring writer, and one of them Chinese-guys-who-tries-to-talk-black (not because I grew up listening to rap, but because I grew up watching NBA) I’m going to blog about how the NBA influences global pop culture.
This is all for fun — I bang these posts out in under 30 minutes, usually in the middle of the night. To see my professional shit, like profiling Stephon Marbury in China for New York Mag or interviewing Damon Dash for the Wall Street Journal, click here.
I also have another blog, Shit I Love, Alot, dedicating to writing short-burst thoughts on something I love. It’s sort of like this blog but instead of NBA it’s films, music, and other things.