Hey IOC, it’s time to put basketball where it belongs, in a Winter Olympics
February 25, 2018 - Basketballs
| USA TODAY Sports
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – The Winter Games were great, as they always are. But they could be even improved if they enclosed a many renouned winter competition in a world.
As many as Olympic basketball has perpetually been identified with a Summer Games, it’s time to put it where it belongs: in a Winter Olympics.
No, it’s not a “sport used on sleet or ice,” that is a customary determined in a Olympic licence for inclusion in a Winter Games. But let’s be genuine here. When it comes to an classification that is now putting a Winter Olympics in places where it doesn’t unequivocally sleet (hello, Beijing 2022) and allows Russian athletes to contest while a nation itself is technically banned, they seem to give themselves an awful lot of shake room when it’s convenient.
And it certain would be available to reclassify Olympic basketball to what it is in any other context: a sport played and watched in a winter.
No, this isn’t a idea to column adult a U.S. award count, that still finished adult next expectations here notwithstanding a clever finish. We’re articulate about a module with that would give some change between a Summer Games, that has some-more sports, some-more large names and distant some-more worldwide seductiveness and a Winter Games, that honestly could use a tiny some-more star energy and a lot some-more diversity.
Sure, Alpine skier Marcel Hirscher competence be one of a many famous people in Austria and cross-country fable Marit Bjoergen competence be a large understanding in Norway. But how many athletes during a Winter Games beget an tangible worldwide hum when they compete?
In a end, a Summer Olympics doesn’t unequivocally need basketball. Between lane and field, soccer, swimming, gymnastics, tennis and now golf, a radio ratings and a ubiquitous seductiveness are always going to be there. If we took basketball out of a equation, it would frequency be missed.
I consider if we put it in February, it would be an even bigger understanding than it is now and yield an involuntary pull for NBC, whose ratings for Pyeongchang were down 8% opposite a house from Sochi and even bigger with younger demographics. While a Olympics are still essential for NBC, a onslaught for radio networks to stay forward viewership habits are changing, and a network needs to strengthen a investment.
Plus, it would give some-more countries a bigger seductiveness in a Winter games, that are generally dominated by a likes of Norway, Germany, Russia and a Netherlands. If we total basketball, you’d during slightest have countries like Australia, Spain, Argentina some-more in a brew (those countries had tiny delegations and total for 5 medals in Pyeongchang) while including Africa and South America.
Of course, to make this devise work, you’d have to get a NBA and other general leagues to postpone their seasons for dual weeks for a consequence of a Olympics, as a NHL had finished from 1998 until this year. They competence have no seductiveness in doing that.
But from a U.S. perspective, a NBA now takes some-more than a week off anyway for a All-Star break, that coincided this year with a Olympics. A tiny report composition once each 4 years could theoretically concede tip NBA players to attend in a Olympics in Feb though forcing them to scapegoat a month of their offseason.
Plus, if they could get this devise together in time for 2022, carrying a best players in a universe in basketball-crazed China positively wouldn’t be a bad selling event for a NBA and Nike.
While a Winter Olympics is superb on a own, progressing a prevalence on a Feb sports calendar isn’t easy. Putting a many renouned competition played in a winter in a Winter Olympics wouldn’t make a traditionalists happy, though it would positively give a Games a boost.