The NBA of the 70’s greatly differs from what our expectations of today’s league, especially when evaluating the background in which the players came from. Recent statistics show that more than 90% of 70’s NBA players came from urban areas, but when compared to today’s league only about 34% of black players come from families in financial situations (Keating). The question that needs to be asked when observing these statistics is what happened to the league or basketball in general that subsequently pushed poorer players out of the league?
When analyzing what has could have caused such a shift in the makeup of the NBA we have to observe the rise in popularity of basketball as the years have gone by. Since the 70’s, the NBA has grown exponentially into a 4. 3 billion dollar industry with international reach (Plunkett Research) Much of this growth can be accredited to the creation of superstars during the late 80’s and 90’s. Along with this expansion and increase in basketball’s popularity, we find that more and more money began to be put into basketball programs (Keating).
Schools that have more access to disposable income, such as those in the suburbs, suddenly can produce better equipment, coaches and basketball programs than those in the city. Basketball camps suddenly spring up more and more with high quality ones having a larger price tag (Five Star). Today’s NBA has even gone international with more and more players coming from places such as Europe. So both the expansion of the NBA and the quality of urban area schools become broader topics that should be discussed when looking at the change in the quality of NBA players backgrounds.
So what possibly answer could there be to why today’s NBA is made up of more “well off” basketball players than it was in the 70’s? Simple, it cost more money to create an NBA caliber athlete today than it did in the 70’s due the increase in the NBA’s popularity. To help support this stance I’d have to look at specific aspects of the NBA that have greatly affected who can become an NBA athlete. After analyzing these aspects, they will be connected to how money is used to adjust to the changing times.
Answering the question will require a great amount of research in relatively tiny aspects that have great importance in an NBA player’s career. For example, looking at the quality of high schools that many great NBA players graduated from and how much money the schools focused into their basketball program. Researching the surge in athletes coming from abroad should also prove as a great factor when discussing the backgrounds of NBA players both because of the difference of life outside of America and the fact that American colligate basketball player now compete with them for a spot in the draft.
The importance of basketball clinics and camps have also become more prevalent in today’s world with many of those considered to be “High quality” to have tuition that is hundreds of dollars. The great increase in salaries of NBA players also provide a great looking glass into why a spot on a team in the NBA would be so sought after and should be heavily researched; especially when considering that the average salary of a NBA player in the 70’s was about 35,000 (20 second). Few counter arguments can be made about the idea that money has become a large aspect in determining who can be an NBA athlete in today’s world.
However, examples like Lebron James and Derrick Rose could easily be brought up and said that since their families came from relatively less fortunate families. But players like these have to be considered outliers when considering the background of the average NBA player. Annotated Bibliography “Five Star Basketball. “Web. . Preliminary website used to search costs of basketball camps. Probably won’t be used in the final of the essay. Friedman, David. “20 Second Time out. ” Blogger. com. 9/02/2010 2010. Web. ccc.
This blog post offered good insight into life of basketball players in the 70’s and things such as their average salary. Not really happy to use this source because I’d like to stay away from blogs when writing a research paper. Keating, Peter. “importance of an athlete’s background in making the NBA. ” July 17, 2011 ccc2011. Web. . Most important source used because it directly related to the topic at hand. Comes from a trusted source that brought in many ideas of topics that need to be researched. Plunkett Research. “Sports Industry Overview. ” Plunkett Research. 2012. Web. ccc. Used to show the value of the NBA. Trusted source.