European Championship U20 - Div. A - International Youth Tournaments
The biggest viewing figures, the highest earning players by average annual salary and larger than life personalities (and statures), basketball, moreover the NBA, is arguably the world's ultimate sport. Although largely a product of the American sporting system, basketball has now generated a global fan base.
While the epicentre of the game is still very much the US, a number of European and Asian countries are making their way on the world stage in events such as the Olympics. However, when it comes to elite basketball action, the NBA is the place to go. Thanks to the advent of live basketball streams in recent years, it's now a lot easier for international fans to catch the latest action.
Instead of having to watch repeats or highlights of the best NBA games, desktop and mobile users can log into PlayLiveStream, find a basketball channel and watch everything in real-time. Such provisions have not only opened up the game to new fans in recent years, but increased the global interest in the NBA significantly.
The History of Basketball
Despite basketball being a traditionally "American" sport, the game's roots can actually be traced back to 1891 and a Canadian doctor known as James Naismith. A physical education professor and instructor at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, Naismith needed a way to keep his classes active during the harsh New England winters.
With his gym not suitable for other indoor activities such as gymnastics, Naismith eventually stumbled on the idea of nailing a basket to the wall and forcing players to throw a soccer ball at it. Noting down an elementary set of rules for the game, Naismith began to use the game for all his winter classes and it from this base it quickly spread across the US.
Initially picked up by other YMCA instructors, the benefits of basketball soon became clear to academic institutions and, within a few years, it was a staple fixture on physical education curriculums. From young children to college students, basketball gripped the US during the early 1900s and as new balls and baskets were introduced in 1906, the game started to evolve into the professional sport we know today.
Post-war America saw dribbling become a major part of the game and by the Sixties a merger between the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) resulted in a powerful new organisation that helped take the sport to a new level and a spectacle now loved by millions.
College vs. Professional Basketball
In the US the game of basketball proliferates for two main reasons: amateur college basketball and professional basketball. Unlike other countries that focus their resources on the professional game, college basketball is an institution in the US and high-profile matches can attract viewing figures well into the millions. Given this popularity of amateur games, college basket is rightly seen as a major sport in its own right.
College Basketball (the NCAA): The popularity of college basketball is thanks to the prominence of the game in US high schools. During the early 20th century the game was favoured by physical education teachers because the low cost of the game (small amount of equipment and staff needed). This led to an explosion of teams and matches across the US. This naturally increased the skill level of young players and gave college basketball coaches a much deeper pool of talent to choose from.
In fact, this network of talent became so large that strict selection processes soon became the norm and this led to college matches being every bit as skilled and competitive as professional showdowns. The average college basketball match is able to rival the viewing figures, investment and entertainment of virtually any professional sport.
Professional Basketball (the NBA): Given the wealth of talent available in the college basketball system, NBA coaches are able to pick their new talent from these ranks through a process known as drafting. Each year the top basketball graduates will be recruited by NBA teams through a series of drafts. This relationship between the NBA and NCAA is not only unique, but one that's helped establish the US as the leading basketball nation in the world.
To help supplement its ranks, NBA teams are now able to sign players from teams in other countries. However, 90% of the talent on the court will have been brought up through a developmental system that begins in high school. Thanks to this setup, today's NBA matches achieve global viewing figures well in excess of one billion.
Basketball's Major Showdowns
When it comes to showdowns, basketball's leading events are global spectacles and thanks to the advent of live streaming the average viewing figures have now reached new highs. Of course, to get the most out of these live streams and enjoy basketball to the max, you need to know what you're looking out for. To help with this, we've compiled a quick overview of the leading basketball events from around the world.
The NBA Finals: Running since 1947, this showdown sees the winners of the Eastern and Western conferences compete in a best of seven series. This showdown forms the closing action of the NBA season and the eventual winner is awarded the Walter A. Brown trophy. In addition to attracting millions of viewers, the finals also generate hundreds of millions in betting revenue.
The NCAA Finals: At the start of the NCAA Division 1 season a total of 68 teams compete in a single elimination tournament. Teams are seeded at the start of the season to determine the order of play and by the time just four teams remain the popular "final four" round takes place. Following the conclusion of these matches, the final takes places and draws viewing figures of many millions.
Olympic Basketball: Part of the Olympic Games movement since 1936, Olympic basketball is open to any qualifying nation and is played using a combination of group stages and knockout matches. Like many team sports at the Olympics, basketball was contested by teams made up of amateurs. However, in 1992 the IOC allowed professionals to be part of national teams and that resulted in the US dominating for many years.
The Basketball World Cup: Organised by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), this quadrennial competition (there are tournaments for men and women) brings together 214 national basketball teams from around the world. Through a combination of world rankings and qualifiers, these teams are whittled down to 24 who then compete in a format similar to the football World Cup.
Betting on Basketball
Making money by betting on basketball is, like all sports betting endeavours, tricky. However, by following a few logical steps, you can turn the tables in your favour.
Set Your Own Odds: Predicting your own odds before each game is a great way to improve your basketball betting prowess. Choose a selection of NBA or NCAA teams, do your own research and then set fictional odds for each game before it starts. Once you've done this you'll be able to compare them with the actual odds offered and see how accurate you were.
Bet Live: Another tip for basketball betting success is to take advantage of in-play betting. Because a game of basketball is divided into four quarters there are a number of opportunities to place bets during the game. These bets are great because you'll often find more value then pre-game betting simply because the bookmakers are calculating odds quickly and are more liable to make mistakes.
Stream the Action: The final tip for basketball betting success is to check out as many live streams as possible. By staying in touch with the latest action you'll get a better idea of who the top performers are, which teams are in form and how a tournament is flowing. Doing this will give you a greater chance of making a profit. Indeed, knowledge is power in the sports betting world and live streams provide this knowledge to all desktop and mobile users.
Basketball Live Streams
Basketball has become one of the most popular sports in the world over the last few decades and now, thanks to live online basketball streams, you don't ever have to miss a high-profile match. By logging into PlayLiveStream you can watch NBA, NCAA and games from virtually any other league in the world.
Indeed, it doesn't matter if you're in the UK and want to watch a match in Australia, the power of live streams online mean that you can log into our platform using your desktop or mobile device and view a clear HD stream. These provisions not only give you more of what you love on a regular basis, but also allow you to ante-up and place more bets.
Through a network of connected bookmakers, you can simply flick from live streams to betting portals in less than a second. Doing this means you can get the best odds and, potentially, make even more money when your predictions come good.