Entertainment | Sports & Fitness

Why Is The NBA So Popular In Canada?

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Lacrosse and curling may be the sports of record in Canada, but hockey has always been the most popular sport in the country. This is still a hockey country, but in the next few decades, don’t be shocked if basketball makes a massive comeback to the top.

For basketball to become a national game in Canada, the country’s demographic shift and the millennial generation’s unique perspective are creating a perfect storm.

All of this should come as no surprise; after all, the game was conceived by a Canadian. Before bringing basketball to the United States in 1891, James Naismith had completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in physical education at McGill University.

In 1946, the Toronto Huskies and the New York Knicks met at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto for the NBA’s first game. Hank Biasatti, the first Canadian to play in the NBA, was a native of that country. Canada’s men won a silver medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics and finished fourth at the 1976 and 1984 Summer Olympics in the sport. In 1984, Canada’s ladies came in fourth place as well.

NBA Culture

Basketball is gaining in popularity among millennials because of the NBA’s distinct culture compared to other major North American sports organizations.

Over 1,500 Canadians were surveyed for a recent study by the Canada Project and found that the sport they’d most like their children to thrive in was basketball, with only 19% saying hockey. Millennials were seven times as likely than baby boomers to say that they watch basketball with their parents.

The second-most popular sport among Canadian millennials, according to Solutions Research Group, a market research organisation in Toronto, is basketball. According to the firm’s 2014 Canadian Youth Sports Report, basketball is the second most popular sport among Canadian children aged 3 to 17, after only soccer but far outpacing both of other sports. Basketball is the second most popular sport among immigrant children behind soccer.

toronto raptors fans

Why Bet on NBA Games?

For basketball fans, there is nothing better than placing a wager on an NBA game. Sports bettors can take advantage of the 82 games in a season. There is so much interest in NFL games that the odds are not necessarily the same as on Sundays since so many people wager on them every night.

The league is awash in famous personalities and high-stakes action. The LeBron James-Zion Williamson showdown is a must-see for basketball fans. More fun is had by betting on the Pelicans or the Lakers depending on your preference. Twitter and Reddit are good places to look for NBA best bets conversation prior to a game. Bettors may keep up to date with the activity using their mobile devices.

One should always search for and compare Canadian bookmakers offering best NBA odds and sign-up incentives before heading into making their first bet. There’s something unique for new customers at every betting site, whether it’s a deposit match or higher point spreads. Make sure to check out our top picks first. Don’t put any money on the table without knowing exactly what table you’re putting it on.

Loads of user-friendly and easy to navigate NBA betting sites are available. Others are more difficult to adjust to. Due to the fact that we’ve used all of these applications to place bets on NBA games and to withdraw our winnings, we have a thorough understanding of how they function. You’ll have the most enjoyable time placing your wagers at these NBA online betting sites.

There should be a variety of payment alternatives available at sportsbooks. With sites that accept PayPal, Play+, credit/debit cards, etc., it is much easier to bet on NBA games. Bettors shouldn’t have to jump through hoops simply to make their first deposit, which is all the same money.


Immigration is a major factor, with 20 percent of Canadians being foreign-born.

For foreigners to become Canadian citizens, the Citizenship Act of 1977 was amended, making it easier for them to do so. As a result of Canada’s Immigration Act of 1978, eligibility for immigrants was made more clear, and prejudice was removed from the process.

More than two million foreigners moved to Canada between 1996 and 2006 as a result of the immigration reform. A 2014 survey by Solutions Research Group found that basketball had overtaken soccer as the sport of choice for first-generation Canadian children, with more than one million immigrants moving to Canada every four years.

You only have to look at the finest players in the country to understand the significance. Steve Nash, a two-time MVP, was born in South Africa and grew up in British Columbia before moving to the United States. The son of Trinidadian immigrants, Jamaal Magloire was born and raised in Toronto. Jamaican-born Anthony Bennett’s mother settled in this part of the country. He has Jamaican parents as well.

Marita Payne, Andrew Wiggins’ mother, is a former Barbados-born Canadian Olympic sprinter. He is eligible for both Lithuanian and American national teams because of his Lithuanian ancestry. Nigerian descent runs deep in the Ejim family. A large number of first-generation Canadians are second-generation Raptors supporters who have never known a life without the team. Nav Bhatia, a Sikh immigrant turned sports star and the Raptors’ Superfan, exemplifies how basketball has served as a catalyst for integration in Canada unlike any other sport.


Toronto Raptors ACC Scotiabank Arena

Keep in mind that the NBA has only been playing in the United States for a little over two decades. That’s a lot of time for a country that’s been around for 150 years. That has spawned a new generation of Canadian-born NBA players.

They have the third-highest attendance of any team in the NBA, which was established in 1995. The lone NBA team in Canada is presently valued at $1.125 billion by Forbes.

The first NBA All-Star Weekend held outside of the United States, in Toronto, Canada, in 2016, was a rousing success.

In recent years, Canada has become a first-round-pick factory, and the Greater Toronto Area in particular has had back-to-back No. 1 overall choices in Bennett and Wiggins. That’s a rare occurrence, even in the same state of the United States, let alone in the same city.

Dillon Brooks of Mississauga was selected in the second round this year, making it eight years in a row that a Canadian was taken.

They’re not only in the league; they’re soaring above the rest. Every year since 2011, a Canadian has made it to the NBA finals, including Thompson last year, who won the Larry O’Brien trophy. RJ Barrett and Andrew Nembhard, two Canadians listed among the top 25 high school seniors in 2019, show that the pipeline is far from dry. Barrett presently holds the top spot in the class rankings.

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